Glossary

A2A (Application-to-Application)

Interaction between IT applications which implies the automation of structured cooperation processes. It is the typical interaction method between computers that generally cooperate among themselves via a data communication network.

ACH (Automated Clearing House)

Technology platform permitting user banks to exchange in automated mode flows containing payment orders, according to shared business rules. The ACH also performs clearing of debit and credit positions deriving from the exchange of payment flows (clearing), thereby determining the balances (bilateral or multilateral) which should then be settled in accounting terms. Therefore, the ACH does not perform settlement functions.

Acquirer

Company/bank which signs an agreement with merchants for acceptance of a specific payment card. The acquirer, handling every stage of the sale transaction, from request to transaction itself, performs the role of intermediary between the merchant and the issuer of the payment instrument, in the various domestic and international circuits.

Banks and Brokers

Financial brokers that operate over Trading Venues on behalf of their clients (both corporates or public entities or physical persons) with the aim of increasing the value of the assets entrusted by their client.

Best Execution

Responsibility of brokers to provide the most advantageous order execution for their customers. Best execution requires brokers to get the best price for a trade in the shortest time frame. Basically, it is a precautionary measure placed on brokers to ensure that investors' best interests are always served.

Big data

Totality of data to be stored and/or processed which is of such an immense size, and/or has such a wide variety of formats, and/or such a high speed of growth that it requires the use of non- conventional software (big data technologies) to extrapolate, manage and process information within a reasonable time.

Bookbuilding

Collaborative tool, available via PC, Tablet and Smartphone that allows a syndicate (set of banks) to collect orders and calibrate the price of a financial instrument of an issuer (both corporate or public institution) that will be listed in a Trading Venue at the end of the IPO (Initial Public Offering) process.

Business Continuity

Ability of a company to react in the face of damaging events that threaten its survival or image, in compliance with the relevant regulations and contracts with customers. A Business Continuity Governance System includes the rules of conduct, the processes, the chain of command and the technological, logistical and Disaster Recovery infrastructures aimed at managing emergencies or crises.

CAD (eGovernment Code)

Consists of a series of provisions designed to guarantee and govern the availability, management, access, transmission, storage and usability of information in digital form using – with the most suitable methods – information and communication technologies within public administration bodies, in relations between the public and private sectors and in some limited cases, also governing use of the e-document in documents between private entities.

Capital Markets

Facilitate the buying and selling of financial instruments, such as equity securities, which are often known as stocks, and debt securities, which are often known as bonds.

CCP (Central Counterparty)

Entity that interposes itself, in one or more trading venues, between the counterparties to the contracts traded and, becoming the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer, thereby guaranteeing the performance of open contracts.

Clearing

Procedure by which an organization acts as an intermediary and assumes the role of a buyer and seller in a transaction to reconcile orders between transacting parties. Clearing is necessary for the matching of all buy and sell orders in the market. It provides smoother and more efficient markets as parties can make transfers to the clearing corporation rather than to each individual party with whom they have transacted.

Collateral Management

Method of granting on collateral transactions in order to reduce credit risk in unsecured financial transactions. It includes the process used to control the correspondence between the market value of relevant collateral and the required value of that collateral.

Compliance

It ensures observance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations within a brokerage firm, bank or financial institution. Depending on the business of the financial institution, these duties may range from monitoring trading activity, preventing conflicts of interest and ensuring compliance with regulations at brokerage firms to preventing money laundering.

Crescita digitale

National strategic plan (drawn up by the Prime Minister’s Office, together with the Ministry of Economic Development, the Agency for Digital Italy and the Agency for Cohesion and approved by the European Commission) which sets out the roadmap to achieve the objectives of the Digital Agenda, within the framework of the Partnership Agreement 2014-2020.

CSD (Central Securities Depository)

Entity that enables securities transactions to be processed and settled by book entry. It provides custodial services (e.g. the administration of corporate actions and redemptions) and plays an active role in ensuring integrity of securities issues.

CSDR

European Regulation with the main objective of increasing the safety and efficiency of securities settlement and settlement infrastructures, to harmonize some aspects of the settlement cycle and settlement discipline and to provide a set of common requirements for CSDs operating securities settlement systems across the EU.

CSM - Clearing and Settlement Mechanism

Technology platform which, in addition to performing the functions of an ACH, also enables the accounting settlement of credit and debit positions among user banks (settlement). The settlement thus discharges the reciprocal obligations deriving from the process of clearing among participants. The term “Clearing and Settlement Mechanism” does not necessarily indicate a single entity. For example, it is possible that the functions of exchange of flows and settlement are performed by separate parties.

CUG (Closed User Group)

Group of users who interact among themselves according to common governance rules and with standardized technical procedures. Participation in the community is controlled and the use of the common procedures is not permitted/accessible outside the user group.

Digital storage

System guaranteeing authenticity, integrity, reliability, legibility and availability of electronic documents, as provided for by CAD.

Disaster Recovery

Series of actions designed to safeguard and restore the technology infrastructures and the services supplied by the company, should the data center be involved in a catastrophic event.

E-Government

Electronic management system of public administration bodies enabling optimization and improvement of the internal processes of these bodies, and offering more rapid and innovative services to users.

e-Wallet

Mobile application which acts as a virtual wallet allowing consumers to use various remote and proximity payment services linked to loyalty and discount programs.

ELMI (eMoney Institutions)

Entities entitled to perform the payment services provided for under Legislative Decree 11/2010, also including the issue of electronic money. In Italy, the authorization to perform the issuing of electronic money is granted by Banca d’Italia, following verification that the entity meets certain requirements relating to share capital, organizational structure, composition of corporate administration and control bodies and work schedule.

EMV

Interoperability standard developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa, for transactions made by card with microchip technology. These standards enable secure payment transactions at POS terminals and cash withdrawals from ATMs.

Esma (European securities and market authority)

European institution founded on 1st January 2011 with the objective of making effective and homogenous the rules related to financial markets that should be applied by every member of the European Community through the local Financial Authority.

Fixed Income markets

Specific kind of financial market where the issuer is obliged to make payments of a fixed amount on a fixed schedule (coupons).

Global Custodian

Entity, often a credit institution, that provides its customers with custody services in respect of securities traded and settled in several countries around the world.

HCE (Host Card Emulation)

NFC mobile payment solution enabling payment cards to be virtualized in a smartphone, regardless of the phone service provider.

Hub & Spoke

Architectural model (topology) of a data communication network including a central switching point for all the network traffic between two counterparties.

Instant Payments

Retail electronic payment available 24/7/365, enabling credit in real time (or near real time) to the beneficiary with notification to the payer in a few seconds.

IOSCO (International Organization of Securities Commission)

International body that brings together the world's securities regulators. IOSCO develops, implements and promotes adherence to internationally recognized standards for securities regulation.

Issuer

Entity belonging to a circuit, issuing cards or another payment instrument, that manages relations with the holders.

M2M (Machine to Machine)

Telemetric and telematic applications which also use wireless networks. These technologies enable network devices to exchange information and perform A2A operations without human intervention.

Market Abuse Regulation

Regulation aimed at classifying and identifying well known misbehavior patterns, applicable to any kind of Trading Venue, through the execution of techniques that abnormally raise the price of a financial instrument for speculative purposes.

Merchant

A business which has signed an agreement with the Acquirer to accept payment cards belonging to a circuit at its physical and/or virtual stores.

MiFID II

Collection of directives issued by ESMA that should be taken into account when an Exchange or an Exchange Member operates over a Financial Market. MIFID II will be effective from 3rd January 2018.

NFC (Near Field Communication)

Wireless communication standard operating over a short distance. NFC technology is mainly used for mobile payment, access control and virtualization of digital tickets.

NSP (Network Service Provider)

Network Services Operator formally authorized by a given Application Services Operator to provide its customers with access to the central technology platforms of the same Application Services Operator. The NSP must therefore be able to support, on its network infrastructure, the application services according to all the technical and security specifications imposed by the Application Services Operator, undertaking to guarantee its end-to-end requirements up to the final customer of the service.

Oversight

Set of controls put in place by the Financial Authority to assure that every financial operator behaves according to the rules.

P2B (Person-to-Business)

Direct cash transfer between private citizens and businesses through use of mobile payment solutions at both physical and virtual stores.

P2G (Person-to-Government)

Direct transfer of money between private citizens and public administration bodies for payment of an amount due (e.g. a fine or penalty).

P2P (Peer-to-Peer)

In IT, peer-to-peer is an expression indicating a logical architecture model of computing network in which the nodes are not placed in a hierarchical order purely under the form of fixed clients or servers, but rather under the form of equivalent or peer nodes that can thus act as client or server to other terminal nodes (host) in the network.

P2P (Person-to-Person)

Direct cash transfer between private citizens via smartphone (e.g. among friends and family).

Payment Institutions

Intermediaries authorized, alongside banks and electronic money institutions (ELMI), to perform payment services. Payment institutions are subject to a series of regulations and controls equivalent to those of other supervised intermediaries (access requirements, capital rules, organizational structures).

PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

The data protection standard for the Payment Card Industry (PCI DSS) has been developed to improve cardholder data protection and to simplify the implementation of consistent global data security measures. The PCI DSS standard provides a basis for technical and operational requirements to protect cardholder data. The PCI DSS standard applies to all entities involved in the processing of payment cards, including operators, processors, buyers, issuers and service providers, as well as all other entities that are engaged in the storage, processing or transmitting of cardholder data and / or sensitive authentication data.

Post Trading

Process of transmitting, reconciling and, in some cases, confirming transfer orders prior to settlement, including the netting of orders and the establishment of final positions for settlement. For futures and options, this term refers to the daily balancing of profits and losses and the daily calculation of collateral requirements.

PSD (Payment Services Directive) and PSD2

Directive issued in 2009 which saw the introduction of a regulatory framework for SEPA payments in Europe. Directive 2015/2366/(UE) on payment services in the internal market (aka PSD2) aims to promote the development of an internal retail payments market that is efficient, secure and competitive, consolidating the protection of payment service users, supporting innovation and raising the security levels of electronic payment services.

Public connectivity system (SPC)

The totality of technology infrastructures and technical rules which has the aim of “federating” the ICT infrastructures of public administration bodies in order to create shared services.

Regulator / Supervisory Authority

Entity, also known as Regulator, whose mission is to monitor the entire financial system of a country to assure that all the rules and regulations in place are respected by all financial operators. In case a financial operator breaches a rule, the Regulator has the power to intervene by fining it or suspending (temporarily or definitely) its permission to operate.

RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement)

Real Time Gross Settlement system. The term “gross” refers to the settlement mechanism: the payment orders, originating from the systems of banks and the Central Bank are settled individually by the system and in the same moment they are originated, on the condition that there are sufficient funds or credit availability on the originator’s account.

SCT (SEPA Credit Transfer)

Base payment instrument for the execution of non-urgent bank transfers in euro between customers whose accounts are located within SEPA.

SEDA (SEPA-compliant Electronic Database Alignment)

Additional Optional Service (“AOS”) to the Pan-European direct debit schemes (SEPA Direct Debit Core and SEPA Direct Debit Business to Business) created by the Italian banking community in compliance with the express provisions of the European Payments Council (EPC). This service was developed in response to the needs expressed by businesses to use Pan-European direct debits according to methods and service levels similar to those previously guaranteed by the domestic debit service RID.

SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area)

Area in which citizens, businesses, public administration bodies, etc. can make and receive payments in euro, both within domestic borders and between countries, according to basic uniform conditions, rights and obligations, wherever they may be located within SEPA. The aim of SEPA is to create a harmonized payments market that offers common payment instruments (bank transfers, direct debits and payment cards), which can be used with the same simplicity and security as one can rely on in one’s own country. Following the transition to the euro in 2002, the project for the creation of SEPA was the next great step towards the integration of European financial markets.

SEPA Business to Business Direct Debit

Scheme developed by the EPC as a variant of the SEPA core Direct Debit scheme with the aim of regulating relationships in which both the counterparties are businesses. This service differs from the core one in a number of features specially designed to meet the specific requirements of businesses.

SEPA Core Direct Debit

Basic payment instrument for collection in euro within SEPA based on a preliminary agreement (mandate) between creditor and debtor that permits automatic debiting of the debtor’s account.

SIOPE (Sistema Informativo delle Operazioni degli Enti Pubblici) e SIOPE+

SIOPE (Information System on the Operations of Government Bodies) acquires from the treasurer’s offices of public administration bodies, and thus from local admin. offices, information on payments and collections based on a uniform code. A system is being developed, called SIOPE+, with the aim of improving the monitoring of payment times of business debits of public administration bodies through integration of the information collected by SIOPE with that of the payable invoices registered in the Electronic Platform for Credit Certifications (PCC).

SPID (Sistema Pubblico per la gestione dell'Identità Digitale)

SPID (Public Digital Identity System) is a new login system enabling citizens and businesses to access with a single digital identity, from multiple devices, all the online services of participating public administration bodies and businesses. SPID does away with the dozens of passwords, keys and codes needed today to use the online services of PA and businesses. A SPID identity is made up of credentials with different features based on the security level required for access. There are three security levels, each of which corresponds to a different level of SPID identity.

STEP2

PE-ACH type (Pan-European Automated Clearing House) system for retail payments in euro. STEP2 makes available to European banks a platform which meets the highest standards of reliability, security and resilience in compliance with the ISO global standards based on XML, guaranteeing the full compatibility of the EPC SCT and SDD schemes. The platform is managed by EBA Clearing through its collaboration with SIA as technology partner.

STP (Straight Through Processing)

Totally automatic processing in the execution of operations relating to payment transactions. Within the framework of SEPA, STP depends, in general terms, on two elements: no obligation – as with domestic operations – of statistical or anti-money laundering reporting, etc.; sufficient data are present to permit, at any point in the interbank operating chain, automatic sending of the operation to its destination.

T2S (TARGET2-Securities)

Eurosystem's single platform enabling central securities depositories and national central banks to provide core, borderless and neutral securities settlement services in central bank money.

Trading

Execution of a financial instrument on a trading venue, in buy or sell, at a defined quantity and price.

Trading Venue

Virtual or physical location where negotiations over financial instruments take place.

U2A (User-to-application)

Method of interaction between natural persons and one or more central IT application. It is the typical method of interaction of a person who, via a public or private network, interacts with, for example, a website.

PE-ACH (Pan-European Automated Clearing House)

CSM offering exchange and settlement services for payments on SEPA Schemes, guaranteeing full reachability in SEPA terms by all banks. Automated Clearing House (ACH) which is or forms part of a Pan-European Automated Clearing House, meaning a clearing system operating at SEPA level, untied from specific domestic markets and able to ensure reachability of all banks compliant with SEPA schemes, which can be selected by any bank within SEPA on the basis of the fees and services offered.