Swift launches global reference data platform for SEPA IBAN in UK
Swiftref, Swift’s global reference data utility, has delivered the IBAN/BIC reference platform for the UK community under the guidance of Payments UK. The project was initiated in early 2015, with Swift commissioned to design and build the platform.
Swift says this new Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) International Bank Account Number (IBAN) Only (Sepaio) central infrastructure platform will ensure “full integration and compliance” with SEPA regulations, and not only within the UK but also the EU.
The new Sepaio platform enables the “accurate” derivation of Bank Identifier Codes (BIC) from IBANs, a “key” requirement for financial institutions in SEPA countries seeking to initiate euro payments to the UK once the European SEPA regulation (EC 260/2012) comes into force in October 2016 for non-eurozone countries, such as the UK.
Payments UK, a payments industry body, committed to provide an automated and centralised IBAN/BIC data collection and maintenance platform — based on Swiftref — for its members.
Through this public platform, the Payments UK service will provide payment service providers (PSPs) real-time access to IBAN/BIC data from the UK and Gibraltar (and UK crown dependencies once they have joined SEPA) allowing financial institutions in those territories to publish and maintain their own IBAN/BIC data.
Swift says this initiative will ensure that PSPs in SEPA countries are equipped to accurately route euro-payments to their peers in the UK.
The Sepaio directory can be accessed using the individual lookup facility, which is free to use from www.swiftrefdata.com or downloaded and integrated into a system by an API (via login to www.swift.com). This will become chargeable from 1 June 2016.