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Same-day transfers to be introduced on June2, 2012

The Intraday Clearing System, or the so-called InterGIRO2 (IG2) project, will be introduced on June 2, 2012, Volksbank department head Anita Domán said at a press conference on Tuesday.

In the beginning, only electronic transfers will be made through the IG2 system, Domán said. In line with the “four-hour rule,” the time between a deposit being made in the recipient's account and the money being deducted from the sender's account – also known as the “float” – has to be less than four hours.

The main beneficiaries of the new system will be the SMEs, Domán said. Volksbank is one of the first banks to start preparing for the new system, she added.

Volksbank will launch the new business and IT solution in partnership with IT firms Simplexion and IBM, said Domán. Simplexion has developed a solution, the so-called Payment Message Hub, for the introduction of intraday clearing on IBM assets. IBM pointed out that this cooperation is a good example of how the IBM Innovation Center supports product development at Hungarian IT firms.

Hungary is the last to introduce intraday transfers in the Central and Eastern European region, Simplexion CEO Vilmos Levente Kovács stressed The lack of same-day transfers has by now seriously hurt Hungary’s competitiveness. The delay of the euro adoption has also urged the launch of intraday transfers, he noted. He believes that the current InterGiro1 system will be eliminated within five years.

Simplexion is in talks with about five-seven banks on the introduction of the IG2 project, Kovács said. ”Banks are slow to launch the project, which means more customers for us, as our Payment Message Hub can be introduced within only three to six months, with minimal adjustments to the core banking systems,” Kovács said.

Banks have only five months to complete the necessary developments, since testing will already start in September, 2011. Pricing, terms and conditions will be announced 60 days before the launch, in April.

According to the MNB’s estimation, the loss of the one-day float will cost the banks approximately HUF 5 billion – 6 billion per year, but this amount will decrease in line with falling interest rates. Investments needed by the banking sector are expected to reach HUF 5 billion – 10 billion, he noted.

GIRO Zrt, the automated clearing house of the Hungarian payment system, has set up an interbank working group to establish the general functional requirements for the system. The working group concluded that same-day settlement should be compliant with the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), which Hungary is a member of. By using SEPA standards, the payment system will not have to be modified upon the adoption of the euro. This will also strengthen the European integration of the country and the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy.