Paris and Hong Kong, 14 September 2009

SDD preparations on track for EBA CLEARING banks

  • Number of STEP2 SDD test participants continues to grow
  • Successful completion of first three testing windows
  • Dedicated implementation forum convening after Sibos

The EBA CLEARING Company announced today that the preparations for the launch of its SEPA Direct Debit Services on 2nd November continue to be fully on track. The first three scripted testing windows in May, June and July were successfully completed by 19 banks for the STEP2 SDD Core Service and by 15 banks for the STEP2 B2B Service. The number of Direct Participants signing up for the remaining testing windows prior to the SDD Services go-live continues to grow: by early August, EBA CLEARING had counted 73 registrations for its SDD Core testing and 51 registrations for its SDD B2B testing on the STEP2 platform.

In order to optimally support the implementation and launch of the STEP2 SDD Services and the SEPA schemes, the future users of the services have set up a dedicated STEP2 SDD Implementation Forum, which will allow for a constant exchange of information between the banks prior to and during the SDD launch and ramp-up phase. This will put the European banking community in a position to optimise their launch preparations and service monitoring activities as well as to quickly remedy any issues with the scheme that might materialise during the ramp-up period. The forum is open to participants from all STEP2 SDD testing banks and will hold a first conference call shortly after Sibos.

Besides orchestrating the STEP2 SDD launch exercise, EBA CLEARING is working with the SDD community on delivering a number of value-added services in order to meet the banks’ key needs for additional services around this new pan-European direct debit instrument. The banks, through EBA CLEARING, are in the process of putting in place an Operational Directory for the direct debit services that will allow operational teams to send queries about mandates or other SDD topics through the correct channel and to the right counterparty in other participant banks.

From the launch of its SDD Services, EBA CLEARING will also provide a reporting service supporting the banks in establishing SDD-related interbank charges. In co-operation with its user banks, the Company has, among other things, also started to look into helping the banks in their handling of e-mandates.