EBA Clearing Goes Live with SEPA Release

Pan-European payment infrastructure solutions provider EBA Clearing has introduced new optional services on the STEP2 platform to meet the requirements of its users for the single euro payments area (SEPA).

The company, which was founded in 1998 and is owned by 64 of the major banks operating in Europe, manages the large-value payment systems EURO1 and STEP1 as well as STEP2, the processing infrastructure for euro retail payments.

It reports that the SEPA direct debit  (SDD) core D-1 option and the change account identification (CAI) option were implemented on 16 November as part of the STEP2 release of the November 2012 European Payments Council (EPC) Scheme Rulebooks.

EBA Clearing said the new optional services on its Pan European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH) platform were developed to meet the needs of the pan-European STEP2 user community and their customers. The SDD Core D-1 option shortens the regular timelines for sending SDD Core collections to the debtor’s bank, from a minimum of five days before due date for new or one-off direct debits and two days for recurring direct debits to just one day.

The CAI option allows banks to inform each other via a standardised Identification Modification Advice (IMA) message about changes in the bank or account details of a customer. In addition to the launch of the November release, EBA Clearing has also activated an optional evening cycle for the STEP2 credit transfer service. Four Irish banks have started to use this cycle, which allows them to send payment messages until 21:00 Central European Time (CET) for delivery to the beneficiary banks before midnight.

The upgrade of the STEP2 functionality is part of an enhancement programme geared at readying the platform for a substantial part of the large domestic volumes that will migrate to SEPA before February 2014. The programme is evolving the capacity, resilience and functionality of STEP2 as a key processing infrastructure for SEPA.

Earlier this month, EBA Clearing said that it had partnered with
IBM and SIA
to provide a third processing site for STEP2 by the end of next year ahead of the SEPA migration end date.

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