Promoting SEPA in Austria

The Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) has been involved in the SEPA project since it was launched in 2002 and supports Austrian market participants with various initiatives.

Forum Zahlungsverkehr (payments Forum)

The Austrian Forum Zahlungsverkehr (formerly known as SEPA Stakeholder Forum) is a cooperative venture of the OeNB and the banking and insurance industry sector of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ). It was founded in 2009 with the goal of promoting the exchange of information and opinions among all market participants.

The OeNB’s Creditor ID Database

The SEPA Direct Debit Scheme calls for a mandatory provision/the compulsory inclusion of a creditor identifier (creditor ID, CID), which provides a clear indication of the creditor without making reference to an account, for each and every direct debit transaction. In other words, anyone initiating a direct debit mandate requires a CID. The OeNB issues CIDs for Austria and administers them in the Creditor ID Database.

Supporting SEPA-compliant clearing services

The OeNB has been providing the technical infrastructure for the processing of retail payments in euro since 2003 and has made it fit for SEPA following the phase-in of the new SEPA payment instruments in 2008 and 2009. This way, the OeNB supported the use of SEPA payment instruments in interbank clearing of euro retail payments early on.

In 2011, the OeNB and Geldservice Austria (GSA) launched clearing services made up of two components that offer SEPA-compliant processing of domestic (Clearing Service Austria, CS.A) and cross-border retail payments (Clearing Service International, CS.I). CS.I connects to STEP2 SCT, the pan-European clearing house operated by EBA CLEARING, and other clearing houses abroad with which the OeNB has concluded bilateral cooperation agreements.