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."