Banca d’Italia, ICBPI and VocaLink Team Up for SEPA CSM Interoperability

ICBPI/BI-COMP, the Italian clearing and settlement mechanism (CSM) operated by Banca d’Italia and Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari Italiane (ICBPI), and the international payments specialist VocaLink are collaborating to establish a link for the exchange of single euro payments area (SEPA) payments based on the European Automated Clearing House Association (EACHA) interoperability standards. The customers of the two CSMs will thus be able to count on a fast, cost-effective and reliable way of achieving mutual reach, with no need for participation in the reachable CSM.

The provision of reciprocal interconnection services between the CSMs managed by VocaLink and ICBPI/Banca d’Italia, allowing them to mutually exchange (and settle in TARGET2) SEPA-compliant payments on behalf of their respective banking communities, will contribute to the SEPA aim of developing a fully integrated and competitive retail market with no differences between national and cross-border payments.

VocaLink and ICBPI/Banca d’Italia plan to enable their customers to execute SEPA Credit Transfers (SCTs) already in the course of 2Q10. Afterwards, the CSMs will start assessing the extension of the interoperability to SEPA Direct Debits (SDDs) as well.

Franco Passacantando, managing director for central banking, markets and payment system area at Banca d’Italia, said: “The planned interoperability of the Italian clearing system with the UK’s VocaLink euro CSM represents a further initiative taken by Banca d’Italia to fully support the SEPA, also by means of direct provision of services. It is a necessary step towards the integration of the single European market for retail payments.”


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