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LogicaCMG launches the SEPA Test Factory

Testing service to reduce the cost for banks of preparing and managing a test environment for SEPA Credit Transfer and Direct Debit programmes

Partnership with Voca will bring established connectivity and infrastructure

LogicaCMG, a leading business consulting and IT services company, has today launched the SEPA Test Factory. This is aimed at helping banks to prepare for implementation of the rulebooks to increase the transparency of corporate payments ahead of the 2008 deadline. LogicaCMG has partnered with Voca utilising their existing CSM capabilities to bring established connectivity and infrastructure to the SEPA Test Factory.

This Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) testing service can be used for a number of different channels for submitting payments and will reduce the cost of preparing and managing a test environment for SEPA Credit Transfer and Direct Debit programmes. LogicaCMG’s established expertise in testing, and close involvement in the development of the SEPA programme have been combined to enable banks to achieve independent validation of scheme rules and dataset compliance in advance of public testing with other institutions. Tests can be scheduled and re-run as required by the bank’s development cycle. The service operates network independently and will be maintained over the SEPA introduction and migration period to ensure banks, their clients and scheme developments can be assessed as required.

This announcement follows a study* in September 2006 into over 100 top eurozone and UK-based banks about their views on readiness for SEPA which found that many banks are currently running the risk of being ill-prepared for the 2008 deadline, with extended development timetables causing delays in testing. Although 69 per cent of retail banks rated testing systems to SEPA requirements by the end of 2007 as ‘very important’ only 13 per cent had a fully documented plan for testing and 46 per cent had not even started to develop a plan.

Commenting on the launch, Simon Bailey, payments director, global financial services, LogicaCMG said: “Compliance with the SEPA rulebook is compulsory for those wanting to join the SEPA schemes. With the first date for the new scheme for pan-European credit transfers only 8 months away, banks and their customers will want the comfort of knowing their development cycles have either delivered results, or in some cases will need to be modified. This service avoids every bank building its own test framework and reduces the risk of every bank operating in Europe bidding for scarce and expensive IT resource at the same time”

Paul Taylor, Head of European Relationship Management at Voca said “Testing a new infrastructure can be a lengthy, costly and complex process but the SEPA Test Factory is a great opportunity to address these issues. Together Voca and LogicaCMG are providing the banking community with a stable test environment built in strict compliance with the EPC requirements for SEPA readiness, so banks can be confident they are ready to implement the new schemes in time for the launch. By using the SEPA Test Factory banks can focus on the vital development work required to take full advantage of the opportunities that SEPA brings”.

The SEPA Testing Factory will facilitate the process of validation by providing:
• A comprehensive set of test cases and expected results tailored to the bank’s own data
• Fully functional infrastructure to allow multiple test cycles across established channels including SWIFTNet and Secure File Transfer
• Reporting and advice on the achievement of compliance