Reliable and secure payment systems contribute to the overall stability of the country’s financial system, ensuring the efficient use of financial resources, improving liquidity in financial markets, and guaranteeing timely settlement between sellers and buyers.
Kazakhstan’s non-cash payment system, inherited from the previous centralized planned system and supported by the State Bank of the former Soviet Union, was not suitable for the new conditions of a market economy. In 1991, the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan initiated the reform of the payment system.
At the initial stage, the main goals of the payment system reform in Kazakhstan were to accelerate the processing of payments between banks and their clients (in the early 1990s, the processing time for a single payment ranged from 3 to 12 days) and to promote wider usage of various payment instruments.
The first step in reforming the payment system was the transfer of inter-branch turnover accounts of commercial banks to correspondent accounts opened in the branches of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 1991. This allowed the organization of interbank settlements and ensured the execution of cash services for commercial banks.
In order to facilitate interbank settlements, the National Bank established clearing and cash centers in all regions, cities, urban districts of regional centers, and Almaty in 1992. By mid-1992, 19 regional clearing centers and 274 district clearing centers of the National Bank were operational.
In 1993, with the readiness of technical means, the introduction of electronic payments in settlements between regions of Kazakhstan began to expedite payments and prevent the use of fictitious avizos.
In 1995, the first clearinghouse in Kazakhstan, the Almaty Clearing House (ACH), was organized based on the National Bank. It operated on a multilateral netting basis, with final settlements made once at the end of each operational day based on each participant’s net position.
In 1996, ACH was reorganized into the Kazakhstan Interbank Settlement Center (KISC), equipped with modern technology and software that allowed processing electronic payment orders without the need for paper confirmation. This became possible after the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan provided for the possibility of conducting electronic payments, and the concept of “electronic payment order” was established.
To develop the retail payment market and improve the quality of services provided in this area of banking, the National Bank closed clearinghouses at the regional branches in 1999. Currently, the clearing of retail payments is carried out by the clearing system of the Corporation.
On March 11, 2021, the JSC “Center for the Development of Payment and Financial Technologies of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan” was registered. The Society’s activities include research and development of information systems in the field of payment and financial technologies, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to provide advisory support to the activities of the National Bank and its subsidiaries. The main goal of the Society is to create and develop research expertise, as well as to prototype and implement pilot projects in the field of financial and payment technologies for the National Bank and its subsidiaries, including in collaboration with leading international research centers.
On July 27, 2023, the JSC “National Payment Corporation of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan” was created as a result of the reorganization of the Republican State Enterprise on the right of economic management “Kazakhstan Interbank Settlement Center” by transforming it into JSC “NPC” in accordance with the resolution of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan.