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NBU’s System of Electronic Payments to Mark 25 Years

06 August 2018

Press Release


The System of Electronic Payments of the National Bank of Ukraine (the SEP) processed its first electronic payments 25 years ago, on 5 August 1993. By the end of 1993, virtually all banks and their branches were connected to the SEP, and both paper and telegraphic letters of advice were fully canceled in interbank settlements since the beginning of 1994. It was a starting point for the implementation of electronic money turnover and cash-free payments.


Through all 25 years of its operation, the SEP has proven its reliability and effectiveness. Today, the SEP is Ukraine’s single systemically important state payment system, which successfully and fully covers the needs of the domestic banking system in interbank transfers in the domestic currency and functions in a reliable and stable manner.


“Now, we can say without any exaggerations that, in 1993, Ukraine received an easy-to-use, reliable, productive (and inexpensive at the same time) system of electronic payments, which had no peers among the neighboring countries for a long time, – noted Mr Volodymyr Nagornyuk, Director of the NBU IT Department.


International experts spoke highly of the SEP on multiple occasions, in particular, the system was acknowledged for corresponding to the Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems (by the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems of the Bank of International Settlements (Basel, 2001).


The NBU ensures the continuous, reliable and effective operation of the system.


Today, some 97% of the domestic currency interbank transfers within Ukraine are processed by the SEP, whereas 3% of such transfers are processed through the correspondent accounts, opened by banks in other banks.


The main objective of the regulator is to preserve the stable and reliable operation of the SEP. At that, the NBU pays special attention to development and improvement of the system and implementation of new mechanisms and measures to meet the needs of the Ukrainian banking system.


In particular, the SEP was modernized and the third-generation system was launched at the end of 2017, aimed at developing and improving the services and IT infrastructure for both the NBU’s internal tasks and, especially, the services that the NBU renders to Ukraine’s banking community.


“The further system’s development is an ongoing process, in particular, it includes bringing the SEP in line with the current international standards of financial messaging and implementing innovative instruments for cashless transfers. First and foremost, this includes the implementation of IBAN and ISO 20022 standards, which implies the up-to-date technological toolkit (XML), STP payments, new functional options, harmonization of the system with European and international payment infrastructures, directives and standards,” said Mr Nagornyuk.


He also added that one of the priorities under the objective to modernize the SEP is to implement instant payments, lay the groundwork for the 24/7 operation mode, fully update NBU’s system for cryptographic information security, expand the functionality and informational content of the messages.


“All these innovations will significantly improve the speed, quality and reliability of the execution of payments, and security and confidentiality of financial information, as well as contribute to Ukraine’s integration into European payment area and free capital and foreign investment movement, explained Director of the NBU IT Department.



For reference.


As of 1 July 2018, the SEP participants accounted to 177 institutions, including the NBU, all Ukrainian banks and their branches, the State Treasury Service of Ukraine and its regional boards. The SEP ensures interbank settlements within Ukraine both by customers’ orders and under obligations of banks and other participants of the system.


In H1 2018, 168,579,000 initial payments in the amount of UAH 12 trillion were processed through the SEP, including:

some 168,174,000 initial payments in the amount of UAH 7.6 trillion in file mode

some 405,000 initial payments in the amount of UAH 4.5 trillion in real time mode.


In H1 2018, the SEP processed 1,382,000 initial payments in the amount of UAH 100 billion during an average day.

Some 94% of the total number of all initial payments are sent to the system by Ukrainian banks and their branches.


The daily average balance on the accounts of the SEP participants amounted to UAH 60.81 billion, and the daily average ratio of cash circulation on the accounts of the system participants – to UAH 1.64 billion.

Last modification   06.08.2018