Euro Banking Association
The Euro Banking Association is an association consisting of 183 European banks. It serves as a forum for the European payments
industry and plays a major role in the development of payment infrastructure solutions at a pan-European level.
Through its industry initiatives and the euro payment systems it has delivered, the EBA has been and continues to be
a key contributor to the creation of a standardised Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).
History and structure of the Euro Banking Association
The Euro Banking Association was founded in Paris in 1985 by 18 commercial banks and the European Investment Bank.
The European Commission as well as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) supported the founding of the EBA. Since then,
the number of members has risen to 189. The institutions come from all member states of the European Union and from Norway,
Switzerland, Australia, China, India, Japan, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates and the USA.
In its early years, the agenda of the EBA included the promotion of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and the development and
management of a private industry ECU clearing system stretching across Europe.
For the start of the EMU, the EBA delivered EURO1, a pan-European clearing and settlement system for single payments in euro.
The system was handed over to EBA CLEARING, a company that was founded in order to own and operate this payment system.
The EBA also developed STEP1, a payment system for commercial transactions and STEP2, the first and so far only pan-European
Automated Clearing House, which processes mass euro payments for banks from 31 European countries. All three payment systems are run by EBA CLEARING.
In early 2008, the EBA launched the Euro Priority Payment Scheme, a non-proprietary scheme open to any bank in the European
Economic Area (EEA). The scheme enables banks to offer their customers urgent intra-day payments at a pan-European level.
In line with its focus on pan-European payment solutions, the EBA drives and participates in a number of European payment
initiatives taking place in the cooperative sphere. It contributes to the work of the European Payments Council and other key
institutions in the European payments industry. Once a year, it brings together its member banks and organisations as well
as other stakeholders in the market for a pan-European payments conference entitled EBAday. The EBA also runs a payments portal
providing news and information on ongoing topics in the market (see EBAday).
The EBA is currently exploring ways in which it might contribute to pan-European solutions in the field of electronic invoicing.
In February 2008, the EBA published E-Invoicing 2008, a reference guide on e-invoicing in cooperation with the consulting firm Innopay.
The head office of the Euro Banking Association is located in Paris.
The EBA Clearing Company was founded in June 1998 by 52 banks. Its initial mission consisted in the operation of the clearing
and settlement system for single euro transactions EURO1, which the EBA had transferred to EBA CLEARING for the launch of the
system in late 1999. EURO1 has established itself as the sole bank-owned clearing and settlement system for euro payments at
a pan-European level. It constitutes the only private sector alternative to the TARGET2 system operated by the European System
of Central Banks. Besides EURO1, EBA CLEARING today also owns and operates STEP1, a payment system for individual commercial
transactions, and STEP2, the first and so far only Pan-European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH) for mass payments in euro.
STEP2 processes both credit transfers that are in line with the convention on credit transfers in euro of the European banking
industry and SEPA payments.
EBA CLEARING is based in Brussels; it has representative offices in Paris, Frankfurt and Milan.
EURO1 is a real-time net clearing and settlement system for individual financial and commercial payments and is owned and
operated by EBA CLEARING. It is open to banks that have a registered address or branch in the European Union and fulfil a number
of additional requirements. On average, EURO1 processes more than 190,000 payments per day, with an overall value of almost €210 billion.
Today, the service counts 65 participants and 58 sub-participants. EURO1 is subject to German law (Transactional account principle/Single
Obligation Structure) and based on a messaging and IT infrastructure provided by SWIFT.
Since 2000, EBA CLEARING has been offering a payment service named STEP1 for individual commercial payments in euro. It processes more
than 22,000 transactions on a daily basis. The number of STEP1 members amounts to 103 and mostly consists of small or middle-sized banks.
The technical infrastructure is the same as that of the EURO1 system, as both use the messaging and IT infrastructure of SWIFT.
STEP2 was put into operation in 2003 with SIA-SSB as technological partner. It processes bulk payments in euro. STEP2 is the first and
so far only Pan-European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH). This means that it complies with the principles set by the European Payments
Council (EPC) for a PE-ACH Compliant Clearing and Settlement System. The STEP2 platform processes mass euro payments that are in line
with the convention on credit transfers in euro of the European banking industry (transactions of up to €50,000 bearing an International
Bank Account Number, IBAN, and a Bank Identifier Code, BIC) as well as payments that comply with the Scheme Rulebooks and Implementation
Guidelines for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) as they have been issued by the European Payments Council. From the beginning of SEPA
on 28 January 2008, STEP2 has been offering SEPA Credit Transfer processing services to over 5,260 financial institutions across the
32 SEPA countries. With the transposition date of the Payment Services Directive approaching, EBA CLEARING offers its participants
two services for processing their SEPA Direct Debits: one for Core and one for Business-to-Business (B2B) payments.
- Euro Banking Association
- EBA CLEARING
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