Testing an Migration
In July 2020, the Governing Council of the ECB decided to extend the duration of the TARGET2/T2S consolidation project by 12 months. It is thus scheduled to go live in November 2022. The Eurosystem is currently working on adapting the detailed project plan. This also includes rescheduling the testing and migration phase, whereby the start of User Testing has already been scheduled to December 2021. Please note that the documents listed here still refer to the previous project schedule with go-live date November 2021.
The consolidated TARGET2/T2S will commence operations in November 2022. As part of a “big bang” migration, the current TARGET2 high-value payment system will be deactivated for all user communities participating in TARGET2. The new T2 service – consisting of central liquidity management (CLM) and RTGS – will go live at the same time.
Migration will be preceded by a comprehensive testing phase, with user testing beginning in December 2021. Alongside completing the mandatory test cases devised by the Eurosystem, amongst other things, the user testing phase provides an excellent opportunity for users to carry out their own testing activities, including both bilateral tests between each participant and the platform as well as multilateral tests together with other participants. In addition, the Eurosystem stipulates certain testing phases – such as operational testing or business day testing – which focus on testing specific operational procedures or on testing using time conditions and processes that are realistic to the live environment.
The migration itself will also be simulated and tested multiple times in dedicated migration tests. In this context, a distinction is made between “migration weekend rehearsals” and “migration weekend dress rehearsals”. While the migration weekend rehearsals are conducted during the week in normal working hours, the migration weekend dress rehearsals take place – just like the migration itself – on weekends. They serve as general trial runs for a successful migration weekend. The specific times for the migration tests will be announced in due course.
Migration is divided into the pre-migration phase, the migration weekend itself, and the post-migration phase.
- The pre-migration phase covers the months leading up to the actual migration weekend. This phase includes all preparatory work for the migration weekend that must be completed before that weekend (e.g. setting up the technical connection to the new platform, creation of basic static data elements) or that can be carried out in advance to lessen the workload on the migration weekend itself (e.g. configuring certain elements of the master data).
- The transition from the current TARGET2 payment system to the new T2 service will take place on the migration weekend, i.e. TARGET2 will be deactivated and the new T2 service will commence operations. On the migration weekend, for example, balances on TARGET2 accounts will be transferred to the main cash accounts (MCAs) in the new T2 service and participants’ dedicated cash accounts (DCAs) will be supplied with liquidity.
- In the post-migration phase, the migration will be finalised and any outstanding activities completed.
Testing and migration planning in the Eurosystem
The preparations for testing and migration are the responsibility of the Eurosystem’s internal Migration Testing and Readiness Sub-Group (MTRSG), which consists of the ECB, the 4CB in their role as the developer and operator for the TARGET2/T2S consolidation and the central banks participating in TARGET2. This group drafts the necessary documentation for the testing and migration phase as well as detailed plans for both the pre-migration phase and the migration weekend itself. The working group is supported by several sub-groups dedicated to specific topics, such as preparing the forms for participation and account opening.
One of the first key documents produced by the group is “T2 Migration, Testing and Readiness Strategy”. This core document outlines, amongst other things, the organisational framework and guiding principles for migration, the preparatory testing activities, and the measures to support the user community by means of community readiness monitoring. In addition, the Eurosystem prepared FAQs covering the topics migration, testing and readiness.
National central banks play a key role
Participants are being closely supported by their national central bank in their testing and migration preparations, the testing phase itself, and the migration. The Bundesbank is thus the direct point of contact for the German user community.
On this page, we will successively provide the Eurosystem documents that are relevant to participants for the testing and migration phase as they become available. The forms required for participation in T2 will also be provided here in due course.