Sixty-six European Banks Commit to Joining the STEP2 SDD Services
EBA Clearing’s community of European payment banks is preparing for the direct debit service offerings on its pan-European retail payments platform – STEP2 – in preparation for the launch of the SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) schemes on 2 November 2009. Sixty-six major banks from 16 European countries have registered with EBA Clearing for the future core SDD service. Among them, 44 banks have also signed up for the new business-to-business (B2B) SDD Service. Both services are fully compliant with the relevant EPC Rulebooks and scheduled to start their operations on the official launch date of the SDD schemes.
This commitment follows on from the decision made by the European Payments Council (EPC) on 30 March to confirm the launch date of the two SEPA Direct Debit schemes for 2 November 2009. “By setting a definitive launch date for the SDD schemes and starting the adherence process in May, the EPC has provided the necessary certainty for the banks to finalise their preparations in view of the November live date. The major payment banks across Europe have already committed to joining one or both of the STEP2 SDD Services and are getting ready to start testing,” said Giorgio Ferrero, chairman of EBA Clearing. “The industry now counts on the support of national legislators across the EU/EEA to transpose the PSD by 2 November 2009, so that the legal foundation required for the use of the new direct debit instruments will be in place in time.”
The STEP2 SDD Services have been designed and implemented on the PE-ACH platform of EBA Clearing – STEP2 – in co-operation with a group of 59 pilot banks. In order to provide the banks with a high level of flexibility in their preparations, EBA Clearing will offer six testing windows throughout the second and third quarters, starting in May.