Resilience of SEPA traffic with BOX and SIANet

With the rising tide of SEPA transactions EBA CLEARING has become one of the most important communication partners for financial institutions in the European Union. As a result the highest levels of availability and redundancy for all the components involved in the processing of SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) transactions have become an absolutely mandatory part of the banking IT infrastructure.

However, as of today there are some severe limitations with regard to the resilience of the networking interfaces connecting the banks to STEP2 of EBA CLEARING. Although SWIFT, SIA and EBICS are three independent network providers each certified by EBA CLEARING to handle the traffic it is currently not possible for the banks to switch their traffic from one provider to another during the current day. This can lead to severe implications in the case of a failure.

To avoid this potential single point of failure and to enable full resilience of the network infrastructure, EBA CLEARING has significantly enhanced its STEP2 platform to allow as of June 2014 support for two out of the three independent network providers simultaneously. For the banks it will be possible to concurrently use 2 different providers via two delivery channels for the transfer of messages to STEP2 and in case of a failure completely switch the traffic in both directions from one channel to another on the fly. The STEP2 enhancement has the working title “intra-day switching”.

To ease the implementation of this highly desirable capability INTERCOPE provides a preconfigured BOX package ready to connect to both SIA and SWIFT out of the box. This immediately guarantees complete redundancy of the networking infrastructure together with a higher bandwidth to handle peak traffic via load balancing. To guarantee long-term support and ongoing development of this package INTERCOPE and SIA have entered into a cooperation agreement.

SIA is a European technology provider for banks, central institutions and corporates with some 1,500 employees and a total revenue of € 380 million in 2013. Among other things SIA provides together with COLT the network infrastructure connecting the central banks of France, Germany, Italy, and Spain (the 4 CB) for TARGET2 and TARGET2 Securities. SIA is also the technical provider of the STEP2 platform for EBA CLEARINBG. For more information about SIA, please visit