Irish banks to move domestic payments to EBA Clearing Step2 platform

Irish banks to move domestic payments to EBA Clearing Step2 platform

The Irish banking community is to move its domestic payments processing to the Euro Banking Association's Step2 platform as part of the nation's preparations for the advent of a Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa).

The move to the EBA's Pan-European ACH (Pe-ach) is scheduled to go live in October 2011.

Mick O'Neill, Sepa programme manager at the Irish Payments Services Organisation (Ipso), says the migration "will enable the banks to send both cross-border and domestic payment flows through one channel while making the necessary preparations to phase out our legacy instruments".

EBA Clearing is to develop a dedicated service for handling the Irish legacy credit transfers and direct debits. The new Step2 service will receive and process corresponding pre-sorted bilateral files exchanged between the banks, thereby keeping processing to a minimum.

Other benefits will also flow from the investment says Sean O'Keeffe, head of cash management, BNP Paribas: "The move to Step2 will put us in a position to improve our domestic service levels by offering to our customers later cut-off times and D+1 end-to-end payment execution. At an internal level, it will help us to better manage our liquidity and risk profile."

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