Retail Payment System (RPS)
The Bundesbank is also active in retail payments and, using its RPS system, operates one important clearing institutions in the euro area. In contrast to individual payments, the Bundesbank aims only to play a complementary role in retail payments; this is reflected by the fact that RPS has a market share of under 15% in German payments. By its operational activity, the Bundesbank contributes to a high level of efficiency and security as well as short processing times in German payments. In addition to competitively neutral access for all credit institutions, it also provides nationwide availability in Germany owing to the fact that all credit institutions maintain an account with the Bundesbank.
RPS is a cost-effective system for settling non-urgent payments. RPS was introduced by the Bundesbank in the early 1970s. ts key feature is batch processing in the submission and delivery of payments. To facilitate the submission and delivery of payments, use is made of the SWIFTNet FileAct and EBICS (Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard) communication proce-dures. This is based essentially on the communication procedure of the Bundesbank’s Electronic Access. Since 9 January 2006, the Bundesbank has been offering access to SWIFTNet. Since 26 January 2009, the Bundesbank has also been supporting the Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard (EBICS). Around 700 credit institutions and other Bundesbank account holders, such as public authorities, use RPS and submit about 10 million orders each day (equivalent to an amount of €8 billion), roughly 40% of which are credit transfer orders and around 60% collection orders (direct debits and converted cheques). Besides the reasonable transaction prices, the submitters also benefit from float-free settlement. The gross-settlement procedure used in RPS prevents the payment beneficiary from incurring any credit risk.
With respect to participation in the RPS, the "Bundesbank’s procedural rules for the settlement of files in DTA format via data telecommunication in the Retail Payment System (RPS) – (RPS procedural rules)" apply.
In the RPS procedure too, the Bundesbank works alongside the German banking industry. In this way, the process can be continuously improved in close consultation with the banking industry.