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ECB eyes 24-hour payment settlement services

ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch said the centralbank is exploring the possibility of having round-the-clock settlement servicesto support instant payments.

"The Governing Councilhas decided that it will launch and closely monitor an investigation withmarket participants on the necessity of extending settlement operating hoursfor a subset of its regular settlement services up to 24/7/365 to allowfor real-time settlement of instant payments," Mersch told an audience inGeneva.

Mersch added that the ECB is also looking into consolidatingthe functional components of TARGET2 and T2S services as well as developing amore efficient system for managing assets used as collateral to borrow moneyfrom central banks in the eurozone.

The plans are part of the ECB's efforts to improve theeurosystem's market infrastructure.