Large-Value Payment System (TARGET2)
TARGET2 is the new trans-European payment system which replaced TARGET. The new system was developed to cater for the needs generated both by the enlargement of the European Union (EU) and by technological advances, as well as to meet market participants’ demands for safe and efficient payment systems and harmonised payment services across Europe. TARGET2 is based on a technically centralised platform (Single Shared Platform – SSP), which is provided by the central banks of Germany, France and Italy and replaces the decentralised structure of the original TARGET system. With TARGET2, the Eurosystem provides participant Member States with payment services based on a single price structure for both domestic and cross-border payments according to the principle of cost recovery.
TARGET2 offers a broad range of services to meet the requirements of all users, including the European banking sector, national central banks and the European Central Bank. Its single platform supports uniform banking operations, which in turn contribute to the smooth and efficient processing of payments. Moreover, TARGET2 provides sophisticated liquidity management tools and harmonised procedures for the settlement operations of ancillary systems, i.e. clearing and securities settlement systems. TARGET2 also offers the maximum reliability and advanced business continuity mechanisms.
Migration to TARGET2 took place in successive steps, i.e. in three country groups, with the first one migrating on 19 November 2007, when the system was launched. The second group migrated on 18 February 2008 and the third one (including Greece) on 19 May 2008.
TARGET2 has proved very successful. It has recorded high levels of availability and performed well even on peak days.
Ongoing cooperation between the European System of Central Banks and the banking community through extensive consultations facilitated the smooth migration to TARGET2 and ensures the constant improvement of the system and the introduction of new functions. The first release of TARGET2, which supports the new functions, was launched in November 2007. Since then, eleven more releases have been launched, the latest of which (11.0) in November 2017.
TARGET (Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross settlement Express Transfer) was launched in 1999 and comprised the national real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems of EU Member States participating in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the ECB payment mechanism and an interlinking mechanism. Payment systems of EU countries which had not adopted the euro had the opportunity to connect to TARGET, as is the case today with TARGET2. In this context, Greece has participated to TARGET since its launch via the HERMES payment system.