Markets & payments

A safe and efficient payments system is critical to supporting day-to-day financial transactions in the economy. For this reason, the Reserve Bank oversees and operates New Zealand’s wholesale payment and settlement systems.

The Bank also monitors and liaises with financial markets to manage liquidity in the New Zealand banking system, and manages foreign reserves to support monetary policy objectives and maintain orderly markets.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand transacts in financial markets to implement its monetary policy objective and provide liquidity to the banking system. The Bank also provides standby facilities for cash and New Zealand government bonds.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act enables the Reserve Bank to intervene in the foreign exchange market and requires the Reserve Bank to hold foreign exchange reserves to provide the capacity to intervene.

Payment operations

The Reserve Bank has both an oversight and operational role in the payment system in New Zealand. The operational activities of the payment system include the provision of currency and a range of payment and settlement services.

NZClear provides the financial markets with clearing and settlement services for high-value debt securities and equities.

ESAS is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's Exchange Settlement Account System and along with Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) allows individual transactions between financial institutions to be settled electronically as the transactions happen.

In April 2016, the Reserve Bank started the Payment Systems Replacement Programme, focussing on implementing a change programme that ensures the on-going provision of payment and settlement infrastructure and systems.

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