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Euro Banking Association
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Euro Banking Association

The Euro Banking Association (EBA) is an industry forum for the European payments industry with over 200 member banks and organisations from the European Union and across the world aimed at fostering and driving pan-European payment initiatives. Through its industry initiatives and the euro payment systems it has delivered, the EBA has been and continues to be a key contributor to the creation of a standardised Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).


History and structure

The Euro Banking Association was founded in Paris in 1985 by 18 commercial banks and the European Investment Bank. The European Commission as well as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) supported the founding of the EBA. Since then, the number of members has risen to almost 200. The institutions come from all member states of the European Union and from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, China, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and the USA.

In its early years, the agenda of the EBA included the promotion of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and the development and management of a private industry ECU clearing system stretching across Europe.

For the start of the EMU, the EBA delivered EURO1, a pan-European clearing and settlement system for single payments in euro. The system was handed over to EBA CLEARING, a company that was founded in order to own and operate this payment system. The EBA also developed STEP1, a payment system for commercial transactions and STEP2, the first and so far only pan-European Automated Clearing House, which processes mass euro payments for banks from 32 European countries. All three payment systems are run by EBA CLEARING.

As the largest network of payment practitioners with a pan-European mindset and vision, the EBA provides a country-neutral forum for discussing and driving payments initiatives. Based on the support of its unique membership, the EBA contributes to the development and improvement of pan-European business practices in cooperation with regulatory and industry bodies. The communication and explanation of these business practices and other industry developments to its membership and to the wider industry constitute another important part of the EBA s mission.

In early 2008, the EBA launched the Euro Priority Payment Scheme, a non-proprietary scheme open to any bank in the European Economic Area (EEA). The scheme enables banks to offer their customers urgent intra-day payments at a pan-European level.

Once a year, the EBA brings together its member banks and organisations as well as other stakeholders in the market for a pan-European payments conference entitled EBAday. The EBA also runs a payments portal providing news and information on ongoing topics in the market.

The head office of the Euro Banking Association is located in Paris.

EBA Clearing

The EBA Clearing Company was founded in June 1998 by 52 banks. Its initial mission consisted in the operation of the clearing and settlement system for single euro transactions EURO1, which the EBA had transferred to EBA CLEARING for the launch of the system in late 1999. EURO1 has established itself as the sole bank-owned clearing and settlement system for euro payments at a pan-European level. Besides EURO1, EBA CLEARING today also owns and operates STEP1, a payment system for individual commercial transactions, and STEP2, the first and so far only Pan-European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH) for mass payments in euro. STEP2 processes both credit transfers, that are in line with the convention on credit transfers in euro of the European banking industry, and SEPA payments.

EBA CLEARING is based in Paris; it has representative offices in Brussels, Frankfurt and Milan.


EURO1 is a real-time net clearing and settlement system for individual financial and commercial payments and is owned and operated by EBA CLEARING. It is open to banks that have a registered address or branch in the European Union and fulfill a number of additional requirements. On average, EURO1 processes more than 230,000 payments per day, with an overall value of almost 245 billion. Today, the service counts 66 participants and 60 sub-participants. EURO1 is subject to German law (Transactional account principle/Single Obligation Structure) and is based on a messaging and IT infrastructure provided by SWIFT.


Since 2000, EBA CLEARING has been offering a payment service named STEP1 for individual commercial payments in euro. It processes more than 20,000 transactions on a daily basis. STEP1 counts 96 Participants and 49 Sub-Participants, mostly consisting of small or middle-sized banks. The technical infrastructure is the same as that of the EURO1 system, as both use the messaging and IT infrastructure of SWIFT.


STEP2 was put into operation in 2003 with SIA-SSB as technological partner. It processes bulk payments in euro. STEP2 is the Pan-European Automated Clearing House (PE-ACH). This means that it complies with the principles set by the European Payments Council (EPC) for a PE-ACH Compliant Clearing and Settlement System.

The STEP2 platform processes mass euro payments that are in line with the convention on credit transfers in euro of the European banking industry (transactions of up to 50,000 bearing an International Bank Account Number, IBAN, and a Bank Identifier Code (BIC)) as well as payments that comply with the Scheme Rulebooks and Implementation Guidelines for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) as they have been issued by the European Payments Council. From the beginning of SEPA on 28 January 2008, STEP2 has been offering SEPA Credit Transfer processing services to over 5,600 financial institutions across the 32 SEPA countries. Since 2nd November 2009, the transposition date of the Payment Services Directive, EBA CLEARING has been processing SEPA Direct Debits with its STEP2 SDD Core and STEP2 SDD ("Business to Business") Services. The 67 SDD Core and 46 SDD B2B Direct Participants extend reach to more than 2,400 financial institutions across Europe for SDD payments.


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