The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has given the nod to a new oversight framework for electronic payment instruments, schemes and arrangements (PISA framework), which would cover crypto currencies and stablecoins.

The new framework, part of ECB’s statutory task to encourage the smooth operation of payment systems, aims to make the current and future payment ecosystem safer and more efficient.

In addition to traditional payment instruments, the framework covers crypto-asset-related services.

This includes the acceptance of crypto-assets by merchants within a card payment scheme as well as the option to send, receive or pay with crypto-assets through electronic wallets.

ECB executive board member Fabio Panetta said: “The retail payments ecosystem is evolving fast owing to innovation and technological change. This calls for a forward-looking approach in overseeing digital payment solutions.

“The PISA framework will include digital payment tokens such as stablecoins, alongside traditional payment instruments and schemes we have gained experience in over the years. Internationally coordinated action will also have to be stepped up to cope with the challenges posed by global digital payment solutions and stablecoins.”

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The Eurosystem will leverage the PISA framework to supervise companies facilitating or supporting the use of payment cards, direct debits, credit transfers, e-money transfers and digital payment tokens, including e-wallets.

The framework is said to align with forthcoming EU regulations on crypto assets as well as international standards for global stablecoins.

The Eurosystem also plans to collaborate with other authorities, it said.

Companies that are already overseen by Eurosystem are expected to adhere to the principles of the PISA framework by next November.

Other companies will have a one-year period to comply with the framework after they are notified of the oversight.