More than 200,000 European credit transfers with a total value of €1.36bn has been recorded in the first week of processing single euro payments area (Sepa) credit transfers, according to payment network provider SIA-SSB.
More than 100 banks from all around Europe exchanged Sepa credit transfers using SIA-SSB's technology infrastructure in the past week, says the Italian company.
The first stage of Sepa went live on 28 January as European banks launched Sepa systems for credit transfers. Sepa aims to make cross-border electronic payments within the eurozone – including the 27 countries of the European Union, the European Economic Area (Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland) and Switzerland - as quick, easy and efficient as domestic payments.
Since the launch date, the number of daily transactions has been growing steadily, and the highest number of transactions was recorded 31 January when there were over 64,000 credit transfers with a total value of nearly €590m.
In a joint statement to launch Sepa, the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) said Sepa is a "natural progression to the introduction of the euro and another major step in realising the full potential of the single market for Europe."
With the launch, European banks are among the first in the world to deploy a new file format called ISO 20022 UNIversal Financial Industry (UNIFI), and based on XML for mass euro payment transactions. The European Payments Council (EPC) said: "This innovation is likely to have an impact far beyond Europe as American and Asian corporates and banks have already started to realise the global impact of 31 countries moving jointly toward Sepa. It is a real contribution to make the European payments industry the most innovative in the world."
SIA-SSB was created from the merger between SIA (Società Interbancaria per l’Automazione) and
SSB (Società per i Servizi Bancari). In October 2007, SIA-SSB signed an agreement with the EPC which declared that the Italian company's Clearing and Settlement Mechanism is fully SEPA compliant infrastructure, making it the first Sepa compliant clearing house in Italy.