The European Banking Association (EBA) announced today that nine additional banks will start live operations with STEP1 on Monday (7 October).
On the same day, Alpha Bank of Athens will join the EURO1 system. The addition of Alpha Bank to the EURO1 system brings the number of banks participating in EURO1 to a total of 74. There will also be seven new sub-participants joining EURO1 on 7 October bringing the total up to 35.
The community of EURO1/STEP1 banks now totals over 200 participants, added to which there are a further 400 STEP1 sub-participants. Since the successful launch of STEP1 on 20th November 2000, the system has established itself as a proven system renowned for its robust and cost effective operation delivered to banks.
Willy Scheerlinck, EBA Clearing Chairman, said: “EBA Clearing is encouraged by the continued success of STEP1 and EURO1 and is now preparing for the introduction of STEP2, a pan-European retail payments system to meet the banks’ future requirements in terms of bulk payment processing. Initiatives like these position the EBA as a key driver in the development of European-wide payment infrastructures.”
Gilbert Lichter, Chief Executive Officer of EBA Clearing, added: “The STEP1 and EURO1 community continues to grow, reinforcing the EBA success in introducing systems which take into account the progressive evolution of the banks’ needs.”
STEP1 creates a direct link between participants, who can send and receive from each other without recourse to third party intermediation, thereby reducing intermediate costs and execution time of cross-border retails payments.
The EURO1 system is a same day payment system processing single payment messages. The EURO1 system is based on an information messaging infrastructure provided by SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) using SWIFT message standards.