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 system 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: STEP2 Participants can send payments at any time. Payment warehousing and scheduling allow participants to choose the date and settlement period 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: participants can connect to the STEP2 central system through SWIFTNet, SIANet and EBICS. Participants can use two networks in parallel for sending files to STEP2. For receiving their files, participants use a default 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 participants to mitigate processing risks.
- Machine-readable routing tables: EBA CLEARING publishes routing tables of all reachable BICs 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 participants’ 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 participant has subscribed to.
- Interactive workstation: 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
- 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 participant to exchange files in the batch processing mode
- carry out provisioning requests
- Reconciliation reports: STEP2 sends a range of machine-readable reports to the participants in order to help them with the reconciliation of payments:
- Real-time validation report, informing participants of the validation results with regards to the files they have sent
- payment cancellation file, notifying 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 payments of that day
This set of advanced standard features optimally supports participants in managing their payment traffic in the STEP2 system and their own processing capacities in a very efficient and flexible manner.