SIA-SSB expands broadband network for Sepa

Source: SIA-SSB

SIAnet, SIA-SSB's multi-service broadband network, has consolidated its presence in Europe: as of today, in fact, the European financial sector can benefit, in addition to connectivity services, from the messaging services used within payment systems, capable of supporting the greater transaction volumes generated by the start-up of SEPA, the single Euro payments area, planned for January 2008.

The kick-off of SEPA will indeed require financial institutions to equip themselves with pan- European communication infrastructures that are compatible with the new instruments and capable of speeding up and simplify the management processes of payments.

SIA-SSB is thereby continuing in its European expansion strategy, which also has the objective of supporting the European financial community in adjusting to present and future changes.

In addition to Italian financial institutions, SIAnet connects the principal European brokers for their trading activities. SIA-SSB's network infrastructure which since the 1970s, has facilitated the automation of payment systems in Italy at inter-banking level, is today supporting banks in their migration towards SEPA.

In line with its expansion strategy in Europe, SIAnet enables connection to EBA Clearing's Step2 technology platform, the first Pan-European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH): at present, there are over 100 banks participating directly in STEP2 that can choose to use SIAnet to manage SEPA transactions.

SIA-SSB's network infrastructure processes a daily average of 3.6 million transactions at European level, compared to approximately 10 million operations transported every day on the entire SWIFTNet network globally.

In the first nine months of 2007, through the 590 active network nodes (180 of which are abroad), 6.4 terabytes (six thousand four hundred billion bytes) of application data were transported, with an infrastructure availability equal to 99.99% and a total available band of 12 gigabit/sec.

As of today, SIA-SSB's network technologies, used up to now in the financial sector, by P.A. bodies - as in the cases of RUPA (Unitary Public Administration Network) and by SPC (the Public Connectivity System) - and to access Corporate Banking Interbancario services, can also be exported abroad. Dedicated to the corporate market, SIA-SSB is about to launch "B-Gate", the solution for Italian and foreign businesses enabling them access to CBI-participating banks.

"After 2010, when SEPA will finally have become a reality, the true competition will be in the value added services that each provider will be able to design and create - commented Renzo Vanetti, SIA-SSB's CEO, during the International Payment Summit "Do You Sepa" - Innovation and growth will be the two winning factors in the new European scenario, that will see the birth of the so-called payment institutions and, consequently, the development of new business models. The outsourcing of payment services will also see considerable grow, more specifically back-office, IT, or support functions, which the major European banks will call upon over the next 5 years."

Renzo Vanetti was appointed by the European Payment Council as member of the new Scheme Management Committee (SMC) that has the task of guaranteeing the correct management of SEPA schemes and of monitoring the compliance process of the participants, as provided for by the SEPA Credit Transfer Rulebook and subsequently the SEPA Direct Debit Rulebook.

The Scheme Management Committee is made up of 12 members - 3 of whom are independent - among which there are leading representatives of Italian and foreign financial institutions (including the European Parliament, Banca MPS, Deutsche Bank, the Confederation of Spanish Savings Banks, UniCredit Tiriac Bank, Société Générale and Commerzbank). The members of the Committee remain in office for three years and can be reelected for one further term.

The SMC will meet every two weeks to monitor the status of implementation of SEPA.

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