Advanced standard functionality
STEP2 provides a state-of-the-art network-independent processing engine, which is based on global XML-based ISO standards and fully compliant with the EPC SCT and SDD Scheme Rulebooks and Implementation Guidelines.
The platform ensures full straight-through processing of all transactions in the interbank space and offers its users the most advanced standard functionality based on the latest technology:
- 24-hour file sending, payment warehousing and scheduling of payments in a specific cycle: STEP2 Direct Participants can send payments at any time. Payment warehousing and cycle scheduling allow participants to choose the date and settlement cycle in which a credit transfer should be processed up to three business days in advance.
- Same-day and optional night-time settlement cycles
- Payment cancellation and Recall functionality: STEP2 provides its participants with the possibility to cancel sent payments after they have been validated but before they have been settled, using a payment cancellation request (camt.056) message. If the payment has already been settled, the message will be forwarded to the beneficiary bank as a Request for Recall in accordance with the EPC Scheme Rulebook requirement.
- Network independence: Direct participants can connect to the STEP2 central system through SWIFTNet, SIANet and EBICS. Direct participants can use two networks in parallel for sending files to STEP2. For receiving their files, participants use a primary channel, which can be switched intraday to a pre-configured secondary channel if the default channel is affected by a technical issue. This intra-day channel switch feature helps banks to mitigate processing risks.
- Machine-readable routing tables: EBA CLEARING publishes routing tables of all reachable banks for each STEP2 Service, one week ahead of the monthly activation date. They are distributed through a secure network in machine-readable format for automatic import into the banks’ systems and are also available for download. The routing tables contain further information on which Additional Optional Services (AOS), optional settlement cycles and processing options each bank has subscribed to.
- Interactive workstation: Direct participants have access to an interactive workstation for the monitoring of files and payments, the Direct Participant Web Station (DPWS).
Via the DPWS, users can directly
- monitor their real-time bilateral liquidity positions against other participants and against the system
- view the status of individual files, bulks or payments
- request details on archived payments
- ask for the re-transmission of a file
- cancel entire bulks or create a bilateral relationship with any other direct participant to exchange files in the batch processing mode
- Reconciliation reports: STEP2 sends a range of machine-readable reports to the direct participants in order to help them with the reconciliation of payments:
Real-time validation report, informing direct participants of the validation results with regard to the files they have sent
- Pre-settlement report, advising direct participants of the amounts to be settled in the upcoming cycle
- Cycle reconciliation report, containing a summary of the settlement instructions created for that cycle
- Payment cancellation file, notifying direct participants that have sent payment cancellations of the status of the payment instructions subject to those requests
- Daily reconciliation report, providing reconciliation information related to all of the cycles of that day
This set of advanced standard features optimally supports participant banks in managing their payment traffic on the STEP2 platform and their own processing capacities in a very efficient and flexible manner.