Bankgirot is one of the founder members of EACHA, the European Automated Clearing Houses Association. The main purpose of EACHA is to use technical collaboration to simplify and streamline the processing of payments within Europe, primarily by means of collaboration on SEPA's rules and services.
27 clearing houses in Europe are currently members of the EACHA collaboration. These clearing houses meet twice a year to discuss how mass payments within Europe can be made more effective.
EACHA works from the basis that healthy competition also involves collaboration on achieving the greatest possible efficiency. This is based on EACHA's belief that developing a common vision for the future and supporting the harmonised implementation of European policies and rules includes interoperability based on open standards.
The aim is to:
- be a forum that enables its members to exchange information
- promote its members' views in issues of common interest
- resolve specific issues, e.g. developing common governing principles for clearing and settlement of SEPA payments
EACHA is non-profit-making and does not perform any services or other commercial activities. EACHA participates as an organisation in several working groups in the area of payments and also has its own working groups to handle specific issues such as interoperability between different clearing houses. Interoperability between clearing houses is a good example where cooperation through EACHA creates greater value for the clearing houses’ customers, i.e. banks and, moreover, for banks’ customers. Through the clearing houses interoperability, payments can be sent between bank customers even though their banks are connected to different clearing houses.
The day-to-day work of EACHA includes representation of the organisation in a number of indrustry fora, which is taken care of by a board consisting of five members from participating clearing houses.
EACHA began in the early 1990s as an informal meeting group for higher-level decision makers in European clearing houses. On 28 September 2006, 20 representatives of European clearing houses formally established EACHA as an organisation under Belgian law. Since then, the organisation has grown to 27 clearing house members.