EBA Clearing has partnered with IBM and SIA to provide a third processing site for STEP2 by the end of next year, in anticipation of the single euro payments area (SEPA) migration end date on 1 February 2014.
EBA Clearing’s pan-European automated clearing house (PE-ACH) currently has two processing sites, which provide full resilience in line with the principles applicable to prominently important retail payment systems (PIRPS). In view of the SEPA migration end date and the expected growth in SEPA payment volumes, EBA Clearing has decided to implement an important capacity increase programme combined with enhanced resilience, notably through the creation of a third processing site.
The creation of a third processing site is as well in line with the objective to apply the business continuity requirements laid down in the recently published CPSS-IOSCO Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures. Accordingly, the third site will be located in another country and more than 400km away from the primary sites in Milan in order to avoid the risk of all three sites being affected by the same natural disaster or any other major impact. The new site is to be delivered by the end of 2013, ahead of the SEPA migration end date.
The implementation of the third site will take place in co-operation with SIA, the technical operator of STEP2, and IBM. It was agreed to use as a technical platform IBM processing facilities available for that purpose. It is further envisaged to assign a dedicated operations team to the third site and to ensure that processing can be run from either site. In order to ensure effectiveness of the enhanced resilience, it is planned that the primary and back-up sites will periodically switch.
“STEP2 is a well-proven pan-European retail payment platform with direct settlement in TARGET2 and is best-positioned to meet the need of banks and banking communities across SEPA for a highly efficient ACH infrastructure. In line with our responsibility for the systemic importance of the platform, we are fully committed to providing the highest level of technical and operational resilience for this key euro retail payment system,” said Gilbert Lichter, chief executive officer (CEO), EBA Clearing.
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