Dutch central bank demands TOP service from Swift

Dutch central bank demands TOP service from Swift

The Dutch central bank - Nederlandsche Bank - is to move its payments clearing processing to the bank-owned Swift messaging network.

Nederlandsche bank has used Swift message standards as the basis of its TOP RTGS system internally over the last three years. The bank has now overhauled its messaging infrastructure so as to extend the use of Swift to communications with TOP participants.

"At least as important as agreeing on what should be exchanged between the Dutch Central Bank's TOP system and TOP participants, is the question of how this information is exchanged,' explains Wim van Workum, deputy director of the payments and securities department of the Nederlandsche Bank.

Since implementation of Swift messaging in TOP in January 1999, daily volumes have gradually risen from 700 Swift messages a day to an average daily rate of more than 20,000 messages today.

With volumes continuing to rise, the Nederlandsche in September migrated to a SwiftAlliance Access interface in a configuration that uses Customer Access Points (CAP) to ensure network availability. Stress testing over the new framework indicates a potential throughput of 40,000 messages per hour, says Henry Schipper, project manager at the Nederlandsche Bank.

In the last few days, the Nederlandsche Bank has implemented a new release (5.0), which facilitates the gradual move of proprietary messages to Swift, including the Dutch central bank's interface with the Amsterdam branch of the Euronext stock market. The Swift network will also be used for the transfer of retail payments though Interpay. The latest release additionally activates use of the Swift MT103 message for single customer credit transfers.

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