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Belgium confirmed its ability to attract payment institutions to its shores with an increase of more than 50% in the number of said institutions established in the country since 2015.

There were only 17 authorised payment institutions in Belgium in 2015, compared with 26 last year; representing an increase of 53% in just four years.

The National Bank of Belgium communicated these figures at the publication of its annual report on the supervision of financial market infrastructures, payment institutions and critical service providers.

Belgium has long held a prominent position as a place of business for international market infrastructures (FMIs) such as Euroclear and SWIFT, which aid in the smooth functioning of Belgian and international financial markets and payment services.

In addition to these established stakeholders, Belgium is now also emerging as an important location for a new category of institutions known as payment institutions.

In 2019, the National Bank granted authorisations to two electronic money institutions, seven payment institutions and one institution providing account information services under the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which establishes a regulatory framework for activities that were previously largely unregulated.