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EBA CLEARING and Voca agree cooperation for SEPA reach

• Voca to use STEP2 to provide reach to 31 markets for SEPA transactions

Voca, the provider of payments services to banks, and EBA CLEARING have agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding in view of creating connectivity to the STEP2 platform and offering banks serviced by Voca Europe-wide reach for SEPA transactions.

In July 2006, Voca implemented Europe's most advanced payment platform, capable of handling the entire European automated payment volume in under four hours. Voca also demonstrated the platform's SEPA Clearing and Settlement capability at SIBOS in Sydney some three months later and is now developing additional services to offer Format Conversion facilities, Routing, Corporate Access and Exception Management capabilities for all "R" messages. This new service will enable Voca's SEPA customers to leverage the scale economies of Voca’s existing transaction volumes; in excess of 5.5 billion transactions per annum.

The signing of an agreement with EBA CLEARING is amongst the most important elements of Voca's SEPA strategy as it can now guarantee the delivery of SEPA transactions throughout the 31 SEPA countries, through the use of EBA CLEARING's well established STEP2 platform.

The agreement addresses key strategic objectives of both organisations and marks a significant step towards the delivery of the SEPA vision. For EBA CLEARING, this agreement will further extend its reach and enable wider participation in its services whilst Voca benefits from guaranteed pan-European reach.

Commenting on the agreement, Martin Wilson, Chief Commercial Officer, Voca said "We are delighted to have reached this agreement and we look forward to a partnership which will deliver genuine value for banks and their customers. It is very important for Voca and EBA CLEARING to be able to guarantee the widest possible reach for their customers. The development of connectivity between Voca and EBA CLEARING is now a top priority to ensure that everything will be in place well in advance of 1 January 2008."

For the EBA CLEARING, Gilbert Lichter remarked "it is clear that the realisation of SEPA will be enabled by key players in the market like Voca and EBA working together to provide best value services and the widest reach possible."