Participation in the RPS SEPA-Clearer

Requirements for participation

Direct participation in the RPS SEPA-Clearer is restricted to credit institutions as defined in article 4 number 1 of Directive 2013/575/EC. Furthermore, only other deposit-taking credit institutions may be connected as indirect participants via a direct participant. Additionally, a direct participant may also exchange SEPA payments with the RPS SEPA-Clearer on behalf of other payment service providers (so-called addressable BIC holders). SEPA payments submitted or received by an indirect participant or an addressable BIC holder via a direct participant are deemed equivalent to payments submitted or received by the respective direct participant itself.

In addition, the following requirements must be fulfilled before a connection can be established to a service of the RPS SEPA-Clearer.

  • The participant must sign the relevant Adherence Agreement with the European Payments Council (EPC), thus signifying acceptance of the terms and conditions of the SEPA rulebooks for credit transfers respectively direct debits. Each direct participant must ensure that any indirect participant or addressable BIC holder using him as an access point to the RPS SEPA-Clearer has also signed the corresponding adherence agreement with the EPC.
  • The participant must have access to a technical sub-account held in the Payments Module (PM) of the TARGET2 platform.

Furthermore, integrative authorisation tests must be run between the participant and the Customer Test Centre of the Deutsche Bundesbank before going live. Participants must register for these tests using an online form from the Customer Test Centre, which can be found under "Customer Test Centre" on the Bundesbank’s website. In addition, it may be necessary to run authorisation tests in TARGET2 and, depending on the chosen channel of communication, in EBICS or SWIFTNet FileAct.

Institutions wishing to participate in a service of the RPS SEPA-Clearer must submit the relevant forms prior to the test procedure: form 4791 for direct participation or forms 4792 and 4793 for indirect participation or connection to an addressable BIC holder. The communication channel to be used for exchanging messages must also be specified using form 4750 (EBICS) or annex 1 of form 4791 (SWIFTNet FileAct) when registering. 

Settlement and finality of successfully processed payments takes place on an RTGS DCA of TARGET Services. It is therefore necessary to designate the relevant settlement information (sub-account and account BIC of the RTGS DCA) in good time before going live.

To facilitate the processing of SEPA payments with payment service providers that are not participating in the RPS SEPA-Clearer, the RPS SEPA-Clearer exchanges payment files with the systems of other Clearing and Settlement Mechanisms (CSMs), including EBA CLEARING's STEP2 system. The connection to the STEP2 system can be applied for in addition to participation in the RPS SEPA-Clearer by individual agreement. For this purpose, the participant must be registered as a "reachable BIC" of the Deutsche Bundesbank in the respective service of the STEP2 system.

Further information on participation can be found in the "Overview of participation in the RPS SEPA-Clearer". A list of links to the respective procedural rules and technical specifications for the individual services and forms can be found at the bottom of this page.