European ACHs form Sepa joint venture

European ACHs form Sepa joint venture

Six European ACHs have formed a joint venture to process payments in the single euro payments area (Sepa) from a shared service platform.

The European Clearing Cooperative (ECC) has been founded by Dias, Equens, Iberpay, ICBPI, Kir and Transfond with a view to handling increasing volumes of cross-border ACH transactions across the EU.

The new European payment platform, expected to be operational by the end of 2015, will provide central ACH interoperability and interbank settlement over the eurosystem's Target2 network.

As banks and corporates concentrate their payment processing in fewer Sepa countries, the volumes of interoperability links are expected to climb. ECC members say the shared service platform will create economies of scale and support increasing market demands.

The pooling of capabilities and operational resources from multiple ACHs within the ECC is also expected to open up possibilities for further cooperation in the development of real-time clearing and settlement.

Michal Szymanski, chairman of ECC’s board and vice-president of KIR, says: “We are confident that ECC will deliver outstanding service value to our customers. It creates important synergies and cost advantages on the interoperability level within the EACHA (European Automated Clearing House Association) framework, while at the same time giving participating ACHs the freedom to act with their local communities."

The six founding partners will operate and jointly govern the new venture as a shared facility, says Szymanksi, while extending participation to other ACHs across the euro zone.

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