Main features

The TARGET2 business day


The TARGET2 business day starts on the evening of the previous business day (D-1) at 7 p.m. CET. A "night-time window" is available from 7.30 p.m. to 6.45 a.m. CET, with a three-hour technical maintenance window between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. CET.

The night-time window is used for the settlement of certain ancillary systems: that is, other market infrastructures including clearing houses, settlement-delivery systems and retail and large-value payment systems in commercial money. These ancillary systems settle their users’ cash balances in TARGET2, the euro payment system in central bank money. All other ancillary systems are settled during the day.

Settlement times for ancillary systems are listed on the ECB (European Central Bank) website at:

Daytime operations begin at 7.00 a.m. CET and end at the following times:
- 5.00 p.m. CET for customer payments
- 6.00 p.m. CET for interbank payments 

The day closes at 6.15 p.m. CET, and 15 minutes later on the last day of the minimum reserve period.






6.45 a.m - 7.00 p.m.

Business window to prepare daylight operations

7.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

Day trade phase
Cut-off for customer payments

6.00 p.m.

Cut-off for interbank payments

End of day

6.15 p.m.

Cut-off for the use of standing facilities

6.30 p.m.

Cut-off for the use of standing facilities on the last day of the minimum reserve period (+15 min.)

Start of day


night-time window for ancillary systems

7.00 p.m.

Start-of-day processing

7.00 p.m. -7.30 p.m.

Provision of liquidity until receipt of start-of-cycle message from ancillary systems

7.30 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.

Start-of-procedure message, setting aside of liquidity and ancillary system night-time processing

10.00 p.m. - 1.00 a.m.

Technical maintenance

1.00 a.m. - 7.00 a.m.

Night-time processing for ancillary systems


Technical structure of TARGET2

TARGET2 is structured into modules, some of which are mandatory and some optional. This gives national central banks a degree of flexibility in the way they operate the system, while at the same time working on a single shared platform.

Some modules are for use exclusively by central banks. These include the transaction history and billing modules, and the module for reporting information processed on the platform.


Technical structure of TARGET2


Mandatory modules: these carry out all the functions required to process participants’ transactions.

  • The PM (Payments Module) is the system’s core module, and carries out the real-time processing of payment orders transmitted by participants in SWIFT message format:
    - MT202: interbank payment
    - MT103 / MT103+: payment where the issuer or beneficiary is a non-bank customer
    - MT204: direct debit order. In contrast with an MT202 message, the funds are debited from the receiver’s account, and credited to the sender.

Participants receive a confirmation message (MT012) indicating that their payment has been made. They may also receive a confirmation of debit (MT900) or of credit (MT910) for each payment processed, as well as an account statement (MT950) at the end of the day.

  • The ICM (Information and Control Module) is the main user interface for the platform, accessible in User to Application or Application to Application mode.
  • The CM (Contingency Module) is a backup module that is activated in the event of a failure of the main platform.
  • The SDM (Static Data Module) allows participants to consult and modify their user data.

The other modules are optional. They allow central banks to carry out some of their other Eurosystem functions via the TARGET2 platform.

  • The HAM (Home Accounting Module) allows participating central banks to hold accounts outside the RTGS. In France, credit institutions can open cash minimum reserve accounts (CNRO) with the Banque de France.
  • The SFM (Standing Facilities Module) manages standing facilities transactions.
  • The RM (Reserve Management) is used to manage minimum reserves. The Banque de France does not use the RM module and processes minimum reserve transactions via a different application.

Updated on: 06/12/2018 10:33