EBA Clearing banks launch direct debit implementation forum

EBA Clearing banks launch direct debit implementation forum

Future participants in the Sepa Direct Debit (SDD) Services of EBA Clearing convened today to launch an implementation forum. The central objective of the forum is to ensure a smooth start-up of the EBA Clearing SDD Services and promote commercial development of the SDD Core and B2B payment instruments.

The EBA Clearing SDD Services are scheduled to go live on the company's PE-ACH platform Step2 on November 2 2009. EBA Clearing says it is already actively preparing for the launch, with 68 banks committed to using the Core SDD service. Of these, 45 have also signed up for its business to business SDD service.

The clearing body says the SDD Implementation Forum will serve as a communication platform for banks participating in the Step2 SDD Services. It will allow for regular exchange on SDD matters in the months preceding and following the go-live of the services. This exchange will put EBA Clearing and the SDD banks in a position to optimise their launch preparations and service monitoring activities as well as to quickly remedy any teething problems that might materialise during the ramp-up period.

"The SDD Implementation Forum of EBA Clearing will help participating banks to ensure reliable and smooth end-to-end processing of the new direct debit instruments from the start," said Gilbert Lichter, CEO of EBA Clearing and Secretary General of the Euro Banking Association. "Based on this stable SDD environment, banks will be able to roll out pan-European direct debit offerings to their customers in a timely and efficient manner."

The new EBA Clearing forum will also support the Step2 SDD community in developing enhanced business practices and value-added services around the Step2 SDD offerings in a direct dialogue. In this context, a particular focus will be placed on evolving the Step2 SDD B2B Service in order to help the banks roll out B2B products of great commercial value to their corporate customers.

"We look forward to co-operating with the other SDD B2B participants on the development of value-added functionalities and the fine-tuning of business practices that will turn B2B direct debits into a true commercial success. Many corporates are eagerly waiting for pan-European direct debit payment services allowing them to further optimise and better monitor their B2B payment streams across Sepa," said Christian Westerhaus, head of product management financial institutions at Deutsche Bank.

The Sepa Direct Debit Services Implementation Forum of EBA Clearing convened for the first time at EBAday, the European banking industry's key payments event. This initial meeting will be followed by a series of conference calls and a meeting scheduled in preparation of the run-up to the November launch date as well as the first months of operation.

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