In 2022, despite the full-scale war, the System of Electronic Payments of the National Bank of Ukraine (SEP) functioned in a reliable and stable manner, covering all the needs of the Ukrainian banking system and its customers for hryvnia payments.
Last year, about 363 million payments worth a total of over UAH 133 trillion were delivered in SEP (compared to 446 million payments worth a total of nearly UAH 57 trillion in 2021). The shock of war and abrupt drop in economic activity during the first months of the full-scale war affected the number of transactions in the system. Last year, the reduction was by 18.7% yoy.
On an average banking day in 2022, SEP processed approximately 1.4 million payments worth a total of nearly UAH 515 billion. At the same time, SEP is capable of processing 10 times more payments during one banking day than at present.
Usually, a vast majority (96%) of all initial payments last year were delivered to SEP by Ukrainian banks and their branches.
The structure of payments in SEP in 2022 shows that:
- in terms of number, small payments were processed most often:
- under UAH 1,000 – 45%
- UAH 1,000 – UAH 100,000 – 51%
- over UAH 100,000 – 4%
- in terms of amount, most payments were of big amount:
- under UAH 1,000 – less than 1%
- UAH 1,000 – UAH 100,000 – 2%
- over UAH 100,000 – almost 98%
"Since the first day of the full-scale invasion, SEP has been operating as usual and without disruptions. SEP member-banks transacted customer payments in regular mode. The NBU takes all measures, so that even during martial law SEP continues to operate effectively and continuously. The regulator understands the importance of resilience of the payment infrastructure for supporting financial stability," noted Volodymyr Nagornyuk, Director of the Information Technologies Department, "At the same time, the NBU continues to develop SEP and prepares to upgrade to the new SEP generation that will give banks and businesses new capabilities, advance payment security, and competition among market players."
Nagornyuk added that transition to the new SEP generation based on the ISO 20022 international standard and 24/7 mode (at present the system operates 23/7) will commence on 1 April 2023. Together with the introduced IBAN this creates a foundation for Ukraine to join the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and implement the fast payment settings in Ukraine.
The SEP is a state banking payment system for interbank money transfers through NBU correspondent accounts.
The NBU is the operator and settlement bank for the SEP. SEP is the only one systemically important payment system in Ukraine. It handles about 97% of all hryvnia-denominated interbank transfers in our country.
SEP is a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS international classification).
As of 1 January 2023, 67 banks, the State Treasury Service of Ukraine, and the NBU were SEP participants.