• ACH

    Automated Clearing House (ACH) System: An electronic clearing system in which payment orders are exchanged between financial institutions, via magnetic or telecommunication networks, and handled by a data-processing centre.

  • AMEX

    AMEX: American Express. American Express (Amex or AmEx) is an American financial services company specialising in payment instruments, and best known for its payment cards and travellers cheques. It is a leading player in business travel planning.

  • AML

    Anti-Money Laundering

  • ATM

    ATM (Cash dispenser or Automated Teller Machine): Machine for withdrawing bank notes using a bank card, subject to the contractually-set authorisation limits. A cash dispenser, unlike an automated teller machine, only dispenses cash.

  • BBAN

    (Basic Bank Account Number): Account national identifier that enables to identify both the bank and the account holder.

  • BIC

    (Bank Identifier Code): The BIC is a standard international method of identifying financial institutions in the country where they are located. It enables banks to automatically identify the destination of transactions and route them to their beneficiaries.

  • Bills of Exchange

    A written order from one party (the drawer) to another (the drawee) to pay a party identified on the order (payee) or the bearer a specified sum, either on demand (At sight) or on a specified date.

  • Cash Letter

    A cash letter consists of a number of cheques grouped together for collection purposes.

  • Cash Pooling

    Cash pooling balances the accounts of a group’s subsidiaries. It is one of the Cash management tools used on a group-wide basis. It is called ZBA when it is a cash concentration technique where all account balances are physically transferred into a nominated master account. Also called Zero Balancing.


    Standardisation office in the banking sector of France.


    The Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) is the UK interbank RTGS system providing same day settlement for typically low-time value, high-value transactions. As a result of its migration to a new platform, it is also called NewCHAPS. It consists of a GBP (CHAPS Sterling) and EUR (CHAPS Euro) component. The latter is linked to TARGET.

  • Cheque

    A written order from one party (the drawer) to another (the drawee, normally a bank) requiring the drawee to pay a specified sum on demand to the drawer or a third party specified by the drawer. Cheques are widely used for settling debts and withdrawing money from banks.

  • Cheque Clearing

    The process by which a cheque is presented to and accepted by the drawee bank, the institution on which it is drawn.

  • Cheque Image

    Scanning technology that allows cheques and other paper-based documents to be digitalized so as to allow electronic clearing..


    Operated by the New York Clearing House Association, CHIPS is an independent real-time multilateral netting system in the USA with immediate payment finality that permits participating financial institutions settle high-value domestic and cross-border USD-denominated payments.

  • Clearing

    Representation of foreign banks to exchange systems. Service aimed at foreign banks whose purpose is to fulfil transactions on their behalf as an intermediary, either in Euros or in other currencies.

  • Clearing House

    A formal or informal association of clearing banks in a given geographic area that aims to facilitate the exchange of items drawn on participants. This occurs via a central location or central processing mechanism through which financial institutions agree to exchange payment instructions or other financial obligations (e.g. securities). These institutions settle for items exchanged at a designated time based on the rules and procedures of the clearing house. In some cases, the clearing house may assume significant counterparty, financial or risk management responsibilities for the clearing system. See clearing/clearance, clearing system.

  • Clearing System

    A set of procedures where financial institutions present and exchange data and/or documents relating to funds or securities transfers with other financial institutions. The procedures often also include a mechanism for the calculation of participants’ bilateral and/or multilateral net positions with a view to facilitating the settlement of their obligations on a net or gross basis.

  • CLS

    (Continuous Linked Settlement): Interbank system for the clearing and settlement of exchange transactions.

  • CLS Third Party

    Service for managing exchange transactions with CLS Bank on behalf of banks that are not members of the CLS system in order to avoid counterparty risk.

  • CORE

    (Compensation Retail): Interbank clearing platform, the largest retail payment exchange system in Europe.

  • Correspondent Banking

    Operational management of accounts and domestic and international payment methods involving the holding of accounts for foreign banks.

  • Cut-Off Times

    As with all payments, there are processing deadlines. However, for currency transactions there are as many cut-off times as there are currencies. It is therefore essential to take these into account so that payments are executed on time.

  • EBA

    Euro Banking Association: Simplified joint-stock company with variable capital created in June 1998 by the Euro Banking Association to facilitate, develop and manage a net euro settlement system for Europe.


    EBA CLEARING: was established in June 1998 by 52 major European and international banks with the mission to own and operate the EURO1 large-value payment system.
    Today, EBA CLEARING counts 62 shareholder banks and, through its EURO1, STEP1 and STEP2 systems, offers both high-value and low-value clearing and settlement services to a wide community of banks in the European Union.


    (Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard): Protocol that has been developed in Germany. Protocol designed to be used on a European scale. EBICS uses the TCP/IP protocol and standards such as XML or HTTPS and enables electronic signature.

  • ECB

    ECB: Established on 1 January 1999 and independent of national governments and the European institutions, the ECB’s role is to set monetary policy for the euro zone and ensure the long-term health of all banking systems in the zone.

  • EIC

    (Échange d’Images Chèques/Cheque Image Exchange): Set of interbank rules for the exchange of cheque images designed to replace the set of exchange rules and agreements in force in the clearing houses and Regional Cheque Image Exchange Centres (CREIC).

  • EPC

    The European Payments Council (EPC) is the coordination and decision-making body of the European banking industry in relation to payments. The purpose of the EPC is to support and promote the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The EPC develops payment schemes and frameworks which help to realize the integrated euro payments market. In particular, the EPC defines common positions for the cooperative space of payment services.

  • EURO1 /STEP1:

    Clearing and settlement system for large-value payments managed by EBA.

  • FATF

    (Financial Action Task Force on money laundering): Founded at the G7 summit held in Paris in 1989, FATF is an intergovernmental organisation which develops strategies to combat money laundering. It has 36 members, of which 34 are countries or territories and 2 are regional organisations (the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Commission). Initially founded to contribute to the fight against money laundering, FATF has extended its remit to the fight against terrorism financing and has drawn up new international standards and a specific action plan.

  • FBF

    (Fédération Bancaire Française/French Banking Federation): Federation that replaced the Association Française des Banques (AFB) and which since 1 February 2001 has represented and championed the interests of the whole banking profession. It represents over 500 mutualist and cooperative commercial banks.

  • FileAct

    FileAct is a secure and reliable file transfer protocol. It is most effective when used to transfer large batches of messages, like retail payment files, very large reports or operating data.

  • GIE CB

    Bank Cards Group. Created in 1984 to organise an interbank card payment and withdrawal system in France.

  • IBAN

    (International Bank Account Number): European bank account identifier. The IBAN and BIC are designed to serve as bank identifiers in the SEPA.

  • IMF

    International Monetary Fund

  • KYC

    (Know Your Customer): The underlying rule of all anti-money laundering regulations, requiring financial and other intermediaries engaged in financial transactions to rigorously check their customers’ identify.

  • Loro Account

    A current account opened in the books of a foreign bank in order to deposit a number of transactions generated in France by its clients. The French bank is then referred to as the correspondent of the foreign bank, which assigns it a varying number of transactions.

  • MasterCard

    Joint-stock company in which the shares are held by affiliate banks; owner of the MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus brands.

  • MT

    MT: Message Type. Type of FIN message. All SWIFT messages include the literal “MT”. This is followed by a 3-digit number that denotes the message category, group and type.

  • Nostro Account

    “Mirror” account to the account opened with a foreign bank to deposit a number of transactions in this country for the purposes of our clients. The foreign bank is then referred to as our foreign correspondent. It is assigned a varying number of transactions.

  • PeSIT

    PeSIT is a transfer protocol that enables to read and record files between computers linked by a telecommunication connection.

  • PSD

    PSD (Directive on Payment Services): The PSD is a text adopted on 13 November 2007 which provides the necessary legal platform for the Single Euro Payments Area.

  • RTGS

    Real Time Gross Settlement System. In such a system, transfers are settled individually and continually, in the books of the central bank. The settlements are irreversible and unconditional (TARGET2, CHAPS in the UK, etc.).

  • SCT

    (SEPA Credit Transfer): Non-urgent European transfer which will eventually replace current non-urgent transfers.

  • SDD

    (SEPA Direct Debit): European direct debit which will eventually replace current direct debits.

  • SEPA

    (Single Euro Payments Area): The aim of SEPA is to create a single area for euro payments within which economic players will be able to make euro payments as easily as in their own country.
    SEPA aims to put in place new euro payment instruments which should eventually be used uniformly across SEPA to facilitate the exchange and processing of non-cash payments (excluding cheques).


    (SWIFT International Banking Operation Seminar): Annual conference and exhibition organised by SWIFT that bring together financial institutions, market infrastructures, multinational corporations and technology partners dealing with SWIFT.

  • SLA

    Service Level Agreement

  • STEP 2

    Fully automated system for routing retail, non-urgent, low-value transfers between banks.

  • STP

    (Straight Through Processing): Fully automated transaction processing procedure.


    Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a member-owned cooperative through which the financial world conducts its business operations. Provides the proprietary communications platform, products and services that allow customers to connect and exchange financial information. Defines and maintain Standards (messages and communication).


    Trans-European Automated Real-Time Gross Settlement Express Transfer. System comprising a single processing platform enabling the fast, secure exchange of payments between euro zone members.

  • TIP

    (Titre Interbancaire de Paiement/Interbank payment slip). Standard payment instrument sent by the creditor (in paper form) to the debtor for the latter to authorise a debit on his or her account. It enables the creditor to take the initiative in recovering his or her loans, while also requiring the debtor to give explicit consent for each debit. Titre Interbancaire de Paiement/Interbank payment slip. Standard payment instrument sent by the creditor (in paper form) to the debtor for the latter to authorise a debit on his or her account. It enables the creditor to take the initiative in recovering his or her loans, while also requiring the debtor to give explicit consent for each debit.

  • Visa

    Visa International Service Association. International bank card acceptance network.

  • XML

    (Extensible Markup Language): XML 20.022 is the format used for the SEPA payments (SCT and SDD).

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