EBA clear­ing plans third pro­cess­ing site for STEP2

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -


EBA CLEAR­ING has part­nered up with IBM and SIA to pro­vide a third pro­cess­ing site for STEP2 in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the SEPA mi­gra­tion end-date.

EBA CLEAR­ING’s pan-Euro­pean ACH cur­rently has two pro­cess­ing sites, which pro­vide full re­silience in line with the prin­ci­ples ap­pli­ca­ble to Promi­nently Im­por­tant Re­tail Pay­ment Sys­tems. In view of the SEPA mi­gra­tion end-date and the expected growth in SEPA pay­ment vol­umes, the Board of EBA CLEAR­ING has de­cided to im­ple­ment an im­por­tant ca­pac­ity in­crease pro­gram com­bined with en­hanced re­silience, no­tably through the cre­ation of a third pro­cess­ing site.

The eval­u­a­tion of the dif­fer­ent im­ple­men­ta­tion op­tions and the fi­nal con­cep­tual de­sign of the third site have been elab­o­rated in close con­sul­ta­tion with Fraun­hofer IAO (Fraun­hofer-Institut für Ar­beitswirtschaft und Or­gan­i­sa­tion). 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.

The de­liv­ery of the third site will ready the plat­form for on­board­ing a sub­stan­tial part of the large do­mes­tic vol­umes that will mi­grate to the SEPA for­mats and chan­nels over the next 14 months. In­de­pen­dent of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the third site, the en­hanced pro­cess­ing speed and ca­pac­ity of the plat­form will al­low the pro­cess­ing of up to 500 mil­lion SEPA Credit Trans­fers and SEPA Di­rect Debits within a day – in­clud­ing the ef­fi­cient han­dling of R-mes­sages – by March 2013. STEP2 will thus be ready for the steep ramp-up in vol­umes expected in the run-up to the SEPA mi­gra­tion end-date.

“STEP2 is a well-proven panEuro­pean 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 in­fra- struc­ture. 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, EBA CLEAR­ING.

“SIA pro­vides a wide and com­plete range of pay­ment ser­vices to its clients in 40 coun­tries. For STEP2, we’ve de­signed and de­vel­oped a high­re­silience pan- Euro­pean plat­form and we keep sup­port­ing it with our long­stand­ing ex­per­tise. The im­ple­men­ta­tion of the third site reaf­firms our full com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing the top-level re­silience of this crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture and the re­quired ca­pac­ity for pro­cess­ing very large do­mes­tic vol­umes of transactions,” said Mas­simo Ar­righetti, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, SIA.

“IBM has deep knowl­edge of and en­joys a strong rep­u­ta­tion for pro­vid­ing highly re­silient and per­form­ing IT so­lu­tions and tech­nolo­gies for crit­i­cal fi­nan­cial ser­vices func­tion­al­i­ties and mar­ket in­fra­struc­tures. We are work­ing with the lead­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­sti­tu­tions around the world in or­der to sup­port busi­ness- crit­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions and pro­cesses. Our tech­nol­ogy and ex­per­tise have had a proven record in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try for decades and we are com­mit­ted to con­tribut­ing to the suc­cess of the STEP2 ini­tia­tive as a key euro re­tail pay­ment plat­form,” said Ul­rich Wolf, Vice Pres­i­dent Bank­ing and Fi­nan­cial Mar­kets, IBM Europe.

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