TARGET services and their common components

T2 groups together the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system and a central liquidity management (CLM) service. In March 2023 it replaced the previous euro RTGS system, TARGET2.

T2S (TARGET2-Securities) was launched in June 2015 and is the platform for securities settlement in central bank money.

TIPS (TARGET Instant Payment Settlement) was launched in November 2018 and is the instant payment settlement service.

ECMS (Eurosystem Collateral Management System), the unified system for managing collateral for monetary policy operations, will be launched in April 2024.

This new architecture is the culmination of the TARGET2/TARGET2-Securities project to consolidate the Eurosystem’s market infrastructure activities. Services provided to the market have been grouped together under “TARGET Services”, and separated from their common components.

TARGET services

Real-time gross settlement (RTGS)

Payments (customer and interbank credit transfers, direct debits) are now processed by a shared RTGS component (T2) and settled on dedicated cash accounts (DCA).

As T2 is a real-time gross settlement system, payment transactions are settled one by one on a continuous basis, without netting. Transactions are settled in central bank money. Settlement is irrevocable and unconditional, ensuring payment finality continuously throughout the day. T2 also settles net amounts submitted by clearing systems, which operate externally to T2.

Central liquidity management (CLM)

The main change under the T2-T2S consolidation project is the creation of the central liquidity management system (CLM). CLM allows participants to manage and monitor liquidity in central bank money via a main cash account (MCA).

Participants use their MCA for all central bank operations: holding minimum reserves, participation in monetary policy operations, access to intraday credit lines and standing facilities (marginal lending and overnight deposits) and financing of cash withdrawals at ATMs.

The MCA allows participants to allocate liquidity to the different optional settlement systems they use (RTGS, TPS and T2S) and for which they have a dedicated cash account (DCA).

CLM participants can also entrust the management of their MCA to another CLM participant (co-management function).


T2S is a technical securities settlement platform developed and operated by the Eurosystem. It is crucial for achieving greater integration of Europe’s financial markets.

T2S has already harmonised numerous settlement procedures in the euro area and resolved problems caused by different settlement practices among countries.


TIPS is a pan-European system for instant transfers in central bank money. It is underpinned by a technical solution designed to meet the requirements of instant payments, notably in terms of processing speed, transaction volumes and round-the-clock availability (24/7/365).

TIPS is part of the Eurosystem’s goal to develop innovative, pan-European payment instruments and avoid the risk of fragmentation of the European instant payment market.

Common components

The technical and functional components used to deliver these services are shared across the Eurosystem:

  • the Eurosystem single market infrastructure gateway (ESMIG) which authenticates accredited users and authorises them to access TARGET services. Access can be manual (U2A or user to application) or automated (A2A or application to application)
  • common reference data management (CRDM) which centralises reference data (on participants, accounts, subscriptions, reporting, etc.) used for more than one service, to ensure its integrity and avoid inconsistencies
  • the billing feature (BILL)
  • a data warehouse (DWH) for statistical and regulatory reporting
  • contingency services (CONT)

An extranet provides participants with additional information on the TARGET services operated by the Banque de France.

Normative framework and legal texts

Banks using TARGET services are required to hold an account with their national central bank (NCB). The management and monitoring of these accounts is therefore decentralised at Eurosystem NCB level.

TARGET services are governed by Guideline (EU) 2022/2250 of the European Central Bank of 9 November 2022, available on the website of the  Official Journal of the European Union.

This guideline was transposed into French law by Decision of the Governor of the Banque de France No. 2022-06 of 21 November 2022 on the harmonised conditions for participating in the Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross settlement Express Transfer system (TARGET).

Participants wishing to join the French component of TARGET need to sign an agreement opening an account with the Banque de France (documents in French) :