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TARGET (Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System) was an interbank payment system for the real-time processing of cross-border transfers throughout the European Union. It included 16 national real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems and the ECBmarker payment mechanism (EPM). TARGET provided access to more than 1,000 direct participants and more than 48,000 credit institutions (including branches and subsidiaries). In November 2007 it was replaced by TARGET2 (see below).


TARGET itself is not, strictly speaking a funds transfer system, in that transfers cannot be fed into TARGET directly; it merely links existing national systems. TARGET provides interlinking and security components via which the national systems can communicate.

TARGET is mainly used for individual payments between banks, but it is also used for urgent transfers between companies, or even individuals, at the discretion of the banks involved. Communication between the national systems mainly uses the SWIFT network.


As of November 2006, the participants were the EU15 countries and the ECB, plus Poland, Slovenia, and Estonia. The Polish and Estonian systems are connected indirectly via the Italian system, New BIREL. Slovenia (20 banks plus the Slovenian central bank) are connected direct to the German RTGSplus system.


In June 2006 there were over 7 million TARGET payments, with a total value of over 47,000 billion euros

TARGET holidays

The TARGET system is closed on Saturdays and Sundays and on the following public holidays in all participating countries: New Year (January 1), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day (May 1), and the first and second days of Christmas (December 25 and December 26).


TARGET2 is the joint gross clearing system of the ESCB that unifies the technical infrastructure of the 26 central (note-issuing) banks of the European Union. It went live on November 19, 2007. However, Sweden and the UK have elected not to participate in TARGET2 - banks in these two countries will have to use alternative means to make large cross-border euro payments. Indeed, Lloyds TSB, Standard Chartered and HSBC have decided to participate through the Dutch central bank DNBmarker.

Migration to TARGET2

The implementation of TARGET2 is based on a decision of the ECB Council of Autumn 2002 and is maintained by the three central banks of France (Banque de Francemarker), Germany (Bundesbankmarker) and Italy (Banca d'Italia). For the migration, the following four groups of participating countries have been defined:

Group 1 (2007-11-19)

Group 2 (2008-02-18)

Group 3 (2008-05-19)

Group 4 (2008-09-15)

  • for unforeseen circumstances

On 19 May 2008 the third and final group connected successfully to TARGET2.

TARGET2 2009-2010

Slovakiamarker joined Target2 on 1.1.2009. Bulgariamarker will join in February 2010.

Transaction prices for TARGET2

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Parts of this (those related to ) are no longer up to date. All other information should be current.}} Please update the article to reflect recent events or newly available information, and remove this template when finished. - The normal TARGET2 transaction price, i.e. a transaction fee between€0.125 and €0.80 (instead of a fee above €100 per month plus €0.80 per transaction), will apply for open market operations settled on proprietary home accounts during the transition period. }#if: |

Last update: }}}}Transaction prices have still to be decided (as of November 2006), but the ECB has proposed two parallel schemes:
  1. EUR 100 per month plus EUR 0.80 per transaction
  2. EUR 1,250 per month plus EUR 0.20 to EUR 0.60 per transaction (depending on the volume of transactions)


This article incorporates text translated from the corresponding German Wikipedia articles on TARGET and TARGET2 as of 2008-04-04.

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