National Payment System Act

The National Payment System Act (NPSA) makes provision for the Central Bank to establish, regulate, and oversee Belize’s National Payment System (NPS).

The NPSA, enacted on 3 February 2017, provides the legal framework to support the NPS and the Central Bank’s role as operator and regulator of the system. The act enables the Central Bank to:

• Formulate policies for the modernization of the NPS;
• License payment service providers and operators;
• Establish rules and procedures to regulate the system;
• Act as a forum on NPS policy;
• Administer the payment, clearing, or settlement of payments or issuance of payment instruments; and
• Issue regulations and guidelines to govern the NPS.

Regulatory Framework

The current legal framework related to payments encompasses the Central Bank Act [link to 2.1 – Central Bank Act], Bills of Exchange Act, Electronic Transactions Act, and Electronic Evidence Act, and the Treasury Bills Act [link to 2.7 – Treasury Bill Act].

Section 49 of the Central Bank Act gives the Central Bank powers “to do any banking business or anything that is incidental to or consequential upon the exercise of its powers or the discharge of its functions under this Act, including the promotion of the establishment and maintenance of a bankers’ clearing house in Belize.” This section of the Central Bank Act provides for the oversight function of the payment systems and for the operation of clearing houses.

The Electronic Evidence Act and the Electronic Transactions Act give legal validity to electronic documents and signatures. Amendment 10 of 2017 of the Electronic Transactions Act extends the application of the Act to include negotiable payment instruments.