SEPA: XML format for uniform payment transactions
In order to be able to process SEPA direct debits and credit transfers, companies must switch to a new data format according to the SEPA Migration Regulation: the XML format (Extensible Markup Language format). XML is a document-describing language that, unlike HTML, is not used to structure and format information, but only to describe content. This means that data or documents can be described and structured in such a way that they can be processed and exchanged within the framework of a large number of applications. The uniform use of the XML data format for SEPA credit transfers and direct debits has made it possible to harmonize and simplify payment transactions in Germany and Europe.
EBICS – the SEPA communication procedure
The Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard (EBICS) is used in Germany for the transmission of payment transaction data. With the help of EBICS, the multi-bank capability that has proven itself in Germany can also be extended to pan-European payment transactions. For companies and business customers who have several bank accounts and make mass transfers, EBICS offers a particularly practical transmission path. In this way, payments can be signed with only one signature medium per user and sent to a wide range of financial institutions connected via EBICS.
Authorization requirements for electronic cash payment processing
The opening and operation of a terminal for the processing of e-cash payments is subject to approval. This is granted by the German banking industry if the required technical principles are fulfilled by the respective operator. The technical fundamentals are part of the technical annex to the contract for approval as a network operator in the electronic cash system, which is drawn up by the German banking industry.
Advantages of EBICS
EBICS is characterized by several advantages. First, the communication procedure represents a standard for all customers and credit institutions. For example, customers can reach all credit institutions in Germany and many more in Europe with one software. Corporate customers also have the advantage of being able to use both standard products and individual software. In addition, the highest security standards are met, so that EBICS is a particularly advantageous transmission for all payment processes such as transfers and direct debits, but also account statements, securities orders and cash management. Communication within the XML-based SEPA procedure is thus standardized and simplified with EBICS, so that, for example, location-independent release of orders is also made possible.
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