Starting with November 2023, Austrian Banks will offer their clients support for commercial banking
through the international EBICS standard, replacing support for the local, Austrian-specific MBS
(Multi-Banking System) standard in place right now.
Whilst Austrian Banks will essentially adopt the current EBICS 3.0 specification (minor version
3.0.2 as of now), the Austrian Banks have anonymously voted to include the early adoption the
complimentary signatures CR (CR-EB-22-05) in this roll-out.
In September 2022 Austria has asked the EBICS SC to accept bespoke change request and secured
an anonymous vote in favour of adoption, but with a major caveat: the adoption will take place only
with EBICS 4.0, the next major version of the EBICS specification. In their vote, the EBICS SC
stressed that it does not have any reservations about the adoption of complimentary signatures per
se but won’t approve of adoption within the current 3.X specification.
At the same time the EBICS SC acknowledged the Austrian requirement to adopt complimentary
signatures with the introduction of the EBICS standard in their commercial client offerings. Given
the simplicity of the change request, the EBICS SC has signalled to Austrian Banks to provide for
the creation of an Austrian-specific version of the 3.0.2 specification (named 3.0.2-AT as a working
title) that included the new complimentary signature classes as follows:
a) a new protocol version H006 of the XML schemas would be released, including the required
minimal changes to the signature classes to enable complementary signatures
b) Austrian banks would support the EBICS 3.0.2 specification with both protocol versions (H005
and the new amended H006), allowing clients to interact with Austrian banks according to their
needs and/or preferences.
This approach would allow Austrian banks to offer support for the new complementary signature
classes (version 3.0.2 with protocol H006), but at the same time not mandate this support to other
banks and/or countries (which can continue communicating with Austrian banks using 3.0.2 with
protocol H005, with no changes required).
Given the limited scope of the changes to the EBICS specification as stipulated by complementary
signatures, it is strongly felt by the EBICS SC that such an approach might spark enough interest
amongst (international) software vendors to adopt bespoke functionality early.
Details regarding CR No. EB-22-05 (complementary signatures) can be found under passed CRs.