The Euro Banking Association (EBA) announced at the EBAday conference and exhibition in Rome that it is ready to launch the EBA Priority Payment Scheme, aimed at providing banks with a framework for delivering urgent, individual and liquidity-supported euro payments within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).
Participation in the EBA Priority Payment Scheme will enable banks to roll out urgent payment offerings to their customers, along with other SEPA instruments they are planning to offer. Adherence to the scheme guarantees the processing of single credit transfers from originating customer account to beneficiary customer account within a maximum of four hours and with same-day availability of funds.
The EBA currently runs a Pilot Group of 26 banks from 13 European countries that have committed to prepare themselves technically and operationally for processing urgent payments. These banks envisage testing their systems and processing test payments in the second half of 2007.
The EBA Priority Payments scheme is based on business practices developed by the Pilot Group in co-operation with the EBA and spelt out in a comprehensive document. The EBA Board signed off the Priority Payment Business Practices in May 2007 and the document is now available to all banks domiciled and licensed in SEPA. The Priority Payment Business Practices will be distributed during EBAday 2007, the second annual payments conference and technology exhibition on 4th and 5th June in Rome and can be downloaded from the EBA website.
Banks wishing to process urgent payments in line with the conditions of the EBA Priority Payment Scheme need to declare their adherence to the scheme by registering on a Central Repository, which will be maintained and published through the EBA and can be securely accessed via the EBA website. The Central Repository, provided by reference data solutions provider CB.Net, will allow originating banks to validate whether an intended receiving bank actually participates in the scheme. Banks wishing to announce their participation at an early stage will already be able to register to the Central Repository on the EBA stand during EBAday.
By enabling banks to offer urgent intra-day credit transfers at a pan-European level to their customers, the EBA Priority Payment Scheme will be a clear stepping stone towards improved market practices and payment products for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The scheme is open to any bank operating in SEPA and is non-proprietary: Priority payments in line with the new EBA scheme can be sent via any clearing and settlement mechanism that is able to process urgent single payments.
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