About the SNCE

Iberpay manages the Spanish Payment System (SNCE) through its platform CICLOM. The SNCE comprises the regulatory, operational and technical mechanisms of the Spanish retail payment system.

Practically all the credit institutions operating in Spain participate in the SNCE which provides them with full reachability to the rest of the European banks operating in the SEPA area (36 countries). The payment system processes, clears and settles payments between bank accounts of participating entities, mainly: instant credit transfers, credit transfers, direct debits, cheques and bills of exchange.

The Spanish Payment System was created in 1987 by Royal Decree 1369/1987, of 18 September. Initially, the management of the SNCE was entrusted to Banco de España but, since 2005, following the reform of Law 41/1999, of 12 November, on payment systems and securities settlement, the management of the SNCE was entrusted to Sociedad Española de Sistemas de Pago, SA (Iberpay).

Under different forms of participation for entities, the main functions and features provided by the SNCE are the following:

  • Processing payment instruments between current accounts, both domestic and pan-European SEPA, through the participation of entities in the different modules or subsystems of the SNCE.
  • Clearing and settlement of transactions processed in central bank money, following the procedures provided by the European Central Bank’s platform TARGET2.
  • Full accessibility to process payments with European payment systems within the SEPA area, through Iberpay’s links with EBA Clearing, Deutsche Bundesbank, equensWorldline and KIR; and with the pan-European instant credit transfer services: the Eurosystem’s TIPS service and EBA Clearing’s RT1.
  • CICLOM processing platform has innovative technology designed and developed entirely by Iberpay. Its high processing capacity, real time and batch, maximum availability and resilience, scalable and flexible, facilitates the full automatic treatment of end-to-end transactions.
  • Best performance, speed and price per transaction processed in the European context.
  • Real-time information system (eCICLOM) to monitor transactional activity, make queries and advanced analysis.
  • APIs platform to access the payment system information automatically and in real-time (CICLOM Open APIs service).
  • Technical access through various alternative communication networks, supporting multiple protocols: SOAP and REST web services, EBICS, SWIFT-AGI, EDItran, SWIFT-FileAct, etc.
  • Information Security, Business Continuity and Cybersecurity Management Systems certified following the ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 standards, as well as the CPMI-IOSCO cyber-resilience guide, and incorporated within the company's Global Risk Management Framework.


Activity of the Spanish Payment System in 2021

As a summary of the Spanish Payment System (SNCE)’s activity in 2021, CICLOM processed 2,532 million transactions (14.6% more than in 2020) for a total value of €2.23 trillion (16.7% less than in the previous year). The SNCE averaged close on 9.9 million transactions per day, with a value of €8,671 million, reaching on peak days a maximum of 25 million transactions worth €17,456 million.

Evolution of the SNCE




Payment instruments in the SNCE

The system consists of different modules or subsystems to process, clear and settlement each of the following payment instruments: direct debts, ordinary credit transfers, instant credit transfers, cheques, bills of exchange and other complementary transactions.

Two-thirds of the total volume of transactions processed in the SNCE correspond to direct debits, whilst the credit transfer is the payment instrument that moves the highest values, registering the greatest growth in recent years.

Since November 2017, the system processes instant credit transfers, in real-time and 24x7, domestically and to and from European counterparts in the SEPA area.

Two years after their launch, this new payment instrument has experienced a outstanding increase in its use, which has led to entities adhering to the service in masse (98% of the market share of retail payments in Spain) and having exchanged a total volume of 192 million instant credit transfers and €55,000 million in 2020, 2.4 times more than in 2019.


Distribution per instrument in the SNCE in 2021



Market share

According to the estimations of Banco de España on retail payments, and with the latest data available, the number of transactions processed, cleared and settled through the SNCE in 2021 reached 59.4% of the total transactions made in Spain. The remaining 40.6% were processed and settled within the entities’ own systems and without being sent though the SNCE (intra-clearing). As for values, the SNCE's share reached 31.7% of the total.

Distribution of Retail Payments in Spain


Interoperability in SEPA

In addition to managing the Spanish Payment System, Iberpay processes international payments in euros as it is connected to the main European payment systems through its six interoperability links to process and settle transactions with over 4,000 entities in SEPA area (36 countries).

Entities use the same technical and operational procedures, formats, messages and standards for either international or domestic transactions, and at the same cost. Thereby, entities do not need to participate in different payment systems, nor have to sign bilateral agreements with other entities.

The SNCE offers two interoperability links for instant credit transfers: Iberpay-RT1 Link, with access to entities participating in EBA Clearing's RT1 service; and the Iberpay-TIPS Link, with access to entities participating in this service of the European Central Bank.

As for ordinary credit transfers, Iberpay-STEP2 Link, with EBA Clearing, and Iberpay-EACHA Link, with the ACHs equensWorldline, Deutsche Bundesbank and KIR, provide access to over 4,000 European entities in the SEPA area.

Additionally, entities can process direct debits within the SEPA area with over than 3,900 European entities also through Iberpay’s connection with EBA Clearing’s STEP2 service.

Credit transfers exchanged with other European ACHs in 2021