Deutsche Bank is marking the launch of the single euro payments area (Sepa) by making compliant payments of EUR2801 - representing the date of the launch - to charities within the 15 euro zone countries.
Sepa will officially kick in on Monday 28 January with the launch of the first Sepa payment instrument for credit transfers. The event is being marked by a high-level meeting organised by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Payments Council at the Charlemagne Building in Brussels.
Werner Steinmueller, head of global transaction banking at Deutsche Bank, says Sepa is one of the most "important transaction banking industry projects within the last decade and will fundamentally change the euro payments landscape".
"We deemed it appropriate that our very first Sepa payments should be made to charities that Deutsche Bank actively supports," he adds.
Steinmueller says over the past two years Deutsche Bank has made significant investments in developing Sepa capabilities. The bank's "Sepa Connect" model will enable financial institution clients to receive and send Sepa-compliant transactions "with minimal investment in their existing infrastructure," he says.
Last year the German bank unveiled a four-pillar strategy to handle all payments with Sepa criteria in the same way as legacy domestic mass payments. It will also provide message transformation, a new account model and support for transaction initiation and reconciliation processes for corporate clients.
In a separate move KIR, the national clearing house of Poland, is linking its EuroElixir platform to EBA Clearing's Step2 Sepa credit transfer (SCT) service.
KIR will provide the users of its clearing systems with a link to the Step2 platform, which will enable Polish banks to exchange Sepa payments with banks in 31 European countries.
The link between the two platforms will be in place for Monday's launch. Banks using the link will be able to settle obligations themselves or to appoint a settlement bank.
"The cooperation of KIR with EBA Clearing in the area of Sepa payments will enable our users to send all their intra-European euro payments to the same platform, whether they are in the national format or compliant with the Sepa schemes," says KIR director, Tomasz Jonczyk. "The link between EuroElixir and Step2 will make the migration to the new payment instruments very smooth for our banks."