81 million US dollars – criminals have stolen this enormous sum from the central bank of Bangladesh, not in a movie-style heist but very quietly via hacking. The thieves made more than 30 bank transfers from the account of the Bangladesh Bank at the New York Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) to Philippine accounts. This case and others show that inter-bank payments are a lucrative target, and that the security of the SWIFT international financial network is vulnerable. Penetrating this network certainly requires a lot of effort, however the loot that can be expected is even greater. In view of such professional attacks, the security of payments is at the top of the agenda once again. Continue reading
In 2014, the majority of Portuguese banks opened an EBICS channel based on version 2.4.2 of the protocol. Only the T profile is really used at the moment, however many companies would like to use the personal signatures that foreshadow the operation of the TS profile in the short term.
At the moment, very few Spanish banks offer their business customers the option of managing their financial transactions by means of the EBICS protocol. However, demand is getting more and more significant, as demonstrated by the presence of several participants at an event organised in Madrid by the Spanish Association of Corporate Finance Officers and Treasurers (ASSET) on 20 January.
European inter-bank payment transactions move several trillion euros a day. This gigantic volume is processed bilaterally via national and European clearers such as TARGET2, STEP2 and SEPA-Clearer. The unobstructed flow of money is essential for the economy and for our entire way of life. For this reason, the IT systems involved are highly security-critical. Only the redundant use of the two transport protocols EBICS and SWIFT provides the necessary high-availability transport.
The EBICS standard is currently gaining ground in Europe. That’s why experts are also taking an interest in the financial centre, Luxembourg. Payment transaction experts from the field and IT departments of Luxembourg banks met there on 28th January 2015 to learn more about EBICS. They had been invited to the event, entitled “EBICS – A New Communication Protocol for Payment Activities”, by the Luxembourg banking association, ABBL.
Since the end of last year, EBA Clearing has offered EBICS alongside SWIFT as an access channel for STEP2. The blueprints of this system came from the German Bundesbank, which in 2008 had already integrated its SEPA clearer to SWIFT and EBICS. For what reasons does EBA Clearing offer EBICS access along with SWIFT? The motivation for this came from a few financial institutions and savings banks in Germany. Costs were a significant factor: With EBICS, there are no transaction costs associated with transmission. Continue reading