Source: Swift and EBA Clearing
SEPA compliance - SWIFT and EBA CLEARING collaborate to ensure coherency and cost-effectiveness of SEPA Testing for banks.
End-user confidence and provider confidence in the new SEPA payment instruments and the supporting infrastructure is dependent on the quality and extensiveness of testing prior any operation. To this end both SWIFT and EBA CLEARING have developed thorough testing frameworks for the industry. They provide independent testing platforms with different but complementary scopes in view of ensuring robust, consistent and cost-effective testing of the new payment messages and processing infrastructure.
SEPA compliance of EBA CLEARING specifications
Based on the information provided by EBA CLEARING, SWIFT confirms that the STEP2 Credit Transfer message specifications as published by EBA CLEARING are compliant with the generic ISO 20022 standards and encompass the EPC SEPA core requirements.
Clarification on scope, complementarity and consistency of SWIFT and EBA CLEARING testing Programmes
The EPC and the ECB are recommending that all banks and CSMs test their SEPA compliance before any self-declaration of SEPA operational readiness.
To this end, both SWIFT - on behalf of the STAG - and EBA CLEARING have developed their own SEPA testing programmes.
The SEPA Testing Programme managed by SWIFT is testing the compliance with the Core EPC specifications as published in the Implementation Guidelines v 2.2, complemented with the so-called CSM Market Practices.
The EBA CLEARING Testing Programme in addition focuses on STEP2 Business rules, Operational readiness and interbank Settlement.
In addition SWIFT and EBA CLEARING have agreed on the two following major principles to further ensure consistency in testing and avoid redundancy across their respective testing initiatives:
Banks successfully testing with SWIFT will be accepted and endorsed by the EBA CLEARING as part of its own testing programme. Therefore EBA CLEARING actively recommends its direct participants to test with SWIFT as an integral component of their overall SEPA compliompliance testing. Banks and EBA CLEARING will both benefit from the quality assurance granted by SWIFT upon successful completion of the STAG mandatory test cases. They ensure a SEPA compliant usage of the ISO2022 standards. Therefore, the test cases mandated in the SEPA Testing Programme will not be mandated within the EBA CLEARING Testing Programme.
To further support the above compliance statement of EBA CLEARING specifications and to ascertain consistency across their testing programmes, SWIFT and EBA CLEARING have agreed to use the STAG tools to exchange SEPA payment messages between themselves. The objective is to ensure that the same SEPA payment message using the core yellow fields is equally validated or rejected across SWIFT and EBA testing platforms.
Having stated these guiding principles, EBA CLEARING and SWIFT are convinced that the combination of both their SEPA testing initiatives provide a coherent testing roadmap to Jan 08, enabling all parties to demonstrate their SEPA standards compliance and operational readiness with a minimum investment.