EBA Clearing’s STEP2 Card Clearing Service on Schedule

EBA Clearing said that its STEP2 card clearing service is ongoing, following its launch four weeks ago.

The pan-European payment infrastructure provider gave an updated report at the EBAday conference in Amsterdam and reported that the German user community pioneering the service is on schedule for the planned completion of its migration by November 2015.

The move to XML-based card clearing enables user banks to reap synergies from re-use of the interbank infrastructure and bank-internal interfaces they have invested in for the single euro payments area (SEPA). It also supports banks in reducing the number of clearing channels by switching off legacy processing systems.

STEP2 is a pan-European service that clears payments originating from card transactions based on the SEPA card clearing framework developed by the Berlin Group, a group of 27 major players in the card industry from 25 countries – some outside of the eurozone.

In a first phase, the service is used for debit card transactions under the German GIROCARD scheme. Its pan-European design makes STEP2 suitable for the onboarding of card-initiated payments from other communities in Europe.

“After the SEPA changeover, our ongoing migration to the STEP2 service marks a logical next step in our move from domestic legacy systems to a pan-European XML infrastructure,” said Markus Jörg, head of cash management at German regional bank Helaba.

“This move allows us to further integrate and streamline our internal payment processes. At the same time, we are able to leverage our investments in the robust and cost-effective STEP2 platform for additional payment streams. Both aspects support us in offering our customers reliable and efficient state-of-the-art payment services at low cost, which is one of our prime objectives.”

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