STEP1 provides banks that do not fulfil all EURO1 admission criteria with access to a pan-European infrastructure processing single payments of high priority and urgency.
STEP1 Participants are able to directly exchange cross-border and domestic euro payments with over 160 European banks. With the help of the EURO1/STEP1 Directory, STEP1 Participants can additionally address many more banks across the world through the EURO1/STEP1 correspondent banks of these institutions.
As STEP1 is based on SWIFT FIN message formats, it also allows participants to channel euro transactions through STEP1 where the originator or the beneficiary account is located outside the Single Euro Payments Area (“one-leg-out payments”).
Thanks to its moderate pricing and the minimal technical adjustments it requires at the level of the banks, STEP1 is very attractive in terms of investment and maintenance cost.
While STEP1 Participants settle their obligations with the support of a EURO1 Participant acting as their settlement bank, they manage and control their payment flows themselves. Their payment flows are not visible to the settlement bank.
STEP1 benefits from the legal certainty and system resilience of the EURO1 infrastructure.
The Interactive Workstation (IWS) enables STEP1 Participants to actively monitor and manage their payment traffic by:
- identifying payments that are queued on-hold
- cancelling outgoing payments that are queued on-hold
- viewing and requesting statements and other reports