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SEP in 2023: Smooth Payments and Effective Development

SEP in 2023: Smooth Payments and Effective Development

In 2023, despite the continued full-scale war and missile terror, the System of Electronic Payments (SEP) of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) met the needs of Ukraine’s banking system and its customers in terms of hryvnia payments and continued to develop effectively.

Last year, about 423 million payments worth a total of over UAH 210 trillion came through SEP. This is a 16.5% increase in number and a 58% increase in value comparing to 2022, the year that saw 363 million payments of more than UAH 133 trillion. In 2023, banks made more than 94% of the total number of payments via SEP on behalf of their customers.

New SEP generation

As of 1 April 2023, the new generation of SEP was launched into operation (SEP 4.0) that made electronic payments even faster, more convenient, and secure. The transition to this operating mode marked one of the biggest migrations ever undertaken by financial institutions of Ukraine. It also gave a potent impetus to the future development and modernization of information systems of Ukrainian banks and financial institutions. Since then, the system has been operating 24/7/365 based on ISO 20022 international standard.

Considering the above, on an average day, SEP processed approximately 1.24 million payments worth a total of nearly UAH 617 billion last year. At the same time, the system is capable of processing almost 10 times the current level of payments during one day.

In addition, since launching the system’s round-the-clock operation, the customer demand for using SEP on weekends has exhibited a growing trend. Thus, while in April 2023 the average number of payments, including on Saturdays, was about 200,000, in December it doubled.

Also, in October 2023, SEP payments through user payment accounts of a nonbank payment service provider, NovaPay LLC, ware transacted for the first time through a bank that is both a member of the system and a servicing bank for this company.

Structure of payments

As is usual, a vast majority (96%) of all payments last year were delivered to SEP by Ukrainian banks and their branches.

The structure of payments in SEP in 2023 shows that:

in terms of number, small payments were processed most often:

  • under UAH 1,000 – 41%
  • UAH 1,000 – UAH 100,000 – 55%
  • over UAH 100,000 – 4%

in terms of amount, most payments were large:

  • under UAH 1,000 – 0.1%
  • UAH 1,000 – UAH 100,000 – 1.3%
  • over UAH 100,000 – 98.6%.

Future development

“Continuous operation of the NBU’s information systems and IT infrastructure ensures that the new generation of SEP operates routinely  and without disruptions 24/7/365, and that the banks participating in SEP deliver customer payments as usual under any conditions.  The NBU takes all measures to make sure that even during martial law, SEP and its other information systems continue to operate effectively and continuously. The regulator understands the importance of resilience of the payment infrastructure for supporting financial stability,” said Volodymyr Nagornyuk, Director of the Information Technologies Department.

At present, the NBU continues developing and preparing the launch of the new version, SEP 4.1, with new capabilities for instant payments that would be a logical next step of SEP development, he said. These functions are to be installed in 2025. In addition, the next versions of the system may have the option of multiple currencies, a tracking service for payments, a service for assessing the risk of payment transactions, etc.

For reference

The System of Electronic Payments (SEP) is an RTGS 24/7 state banking payment system for interbank money transfers in hryvnia through NBU accounts. It handles about 99% of all hryvnia-denominated interbank payments in our country.

SEP is the only systemically important payment system in Ukraine. SEP is a sophisticated and unique software and hardware complex developed by NBU specialists. The NBU is the operator and settlement bank for the system.

As of 1 January 2024, 63 banks, the State Treasury Service of Ukraine, and the NBU were SEP participants.


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