The Deutsche Bundesbank is to use SwiftNet FileAct as an additional messaging channel for low-value retail payments, relieving local banks of the burden of maintaining proprietary protocols and driving convergence with the national RTGS in preparation for the creation of a Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa).
The Deutsche Bundesbank already uses SwiftNet to transmit large value payment instructions across its Real Time Gross Settlement system. The Retail Payment System by contrast uses proprietary communication channels and protocols.
The margin-shaving threat of forthcoming regulatory changes in the payments environment is driving the initiative. The adoption of SwiftNet FileAct is expected to help market participants drive down costs since they will no longer need to maintain two seperate infrastructures.
Hans-Jürgen Friederich, head of payment systems, account management, trades settlement, security deposits, Deutsche Bundesbank, says: "To keep up with state of the art information technology, we decided to offer SwiftNet FileAct as an additional, secure, and reliable access channel to the RPS. Opening RPS for FileAct is also considered an important contribution to support the creation of the Single Euro Payments Area."
Harald Keller, regional business manager for Swift in Germany, says the co-operative has been working closely with a group of local banks to organise a test to use FileAct for exchanging files with the RPS and also bilaterally amongst each other. He says the test results confirmed a demonstrable bottom-line benefit to banks which used SwiftNet as a single window to market infrastructures.