Angola – Understanding the new Payments System legal framework
Angola approved a new Law regarding the Angolan Payments System, Law no. 40/20, of December 16, which revoked Law no. 5/05 of July 29.
The purpose of the new legislation is to adapt the legal framework to the actual volume of transactions in the Angolan market and between Angolan and international markets, and to the evolution of the financial products, which forced a modernization of the Payments System, promoting greater safety, effectiveness, and reliability. Law no. 40/20 also defines the proceeding which permits the establishment of the entities that intervene in the Payments System and rules related with their activity, intervention, supervision, and control. This reform demonstrates the actual importance of the Payments System to the Angolan economy.
After presenting the glossary with the relevant technical concepts adopted in the Law, the Angolan Legislator expressly defined that the Angolan Payments System safeguards public interests connected to objectives as safety, operational reliability, efficiency, and transparency.
Are considered Payments Services, the services which permit to deposit or raise currency in a payment account, execution of payment operations, issuance of payment instruments, acquisition of payment operations, issuance of electronic currency, among others, with relevant exceptions, as the payment operations performed directly without intermediation, and payment operations between Payments Services Providers and their agents or branches, by their own account.
The supervision and regulation of the Angolan Payments System will be made by the Angolan National Bank, who has authority to grant and revoke licenses for the constitution of Payments Services Providers and Operators, grant licenses for the constitution and operation of systems as the payments, deposits, and registries systems, regulate Payments Systems, demand specific information and execute inspections in Companies part of the Payments System, initiate contravention proceedings, apply sanctions (which are foreseen in the dense and severe penalty regime included in this Law), and control/influence price politics regarding the Payments System.
The Angolan National Bank will have powers as well to control and authorize any amendment to the By-Laws of System’s Companies and to demand the demerger of a Company which intends to be part of the System, separating Company sector which operates or provides Payments Services from other activities.
It is formed the Technical Commission for the Development of the Payments System, presided by the Angolan National Bank and composed by representants of the entities which intervein in the Angolan Payments System. This Commission is strictly consultive, analyzing regulation matters and defining strategies for the development of the System, with the purpose of assuring its modernization and efficiency.
Regarding the access to the function of Provider/Operator of the Payments System, the Government established an exclusivity principle. Only the entities foreseen, as banking institutions, companies which provide Payments Services, financial institutions, Angolan National Bank, and some public entities, among others, may provide these services.
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