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Equens started bilateral exchange of payments with Iberpay and Seceti

The payment processor and clearing house Equens successfully exchanged the first SEPA transactions based on EACHA's* Interoperability Framework with Iberpay, Spain and Seceti, Italy today. The parties are the first from a group of CSMs** that announced in October 2007 establishing interoperability between each other. More bilateral interoperability agreements are expected to go live within the coming weeks.

Bilateral exchange of payments between CSMs will enable the simple and efficient exchange of SEPA payments between CSM communities and other paticipants (such as banks and their customers) in the payment chain. Whenever a bank connected to Equens dispatches payments to another bank connected to Seceti or Iberpay, the payments can be routed completely within the systems of the companies without using an external centralized infractructure. This also means that the sending bank doesn't need to participate in the infrastructure to which the receiving bank is connected to.

Michael Steinbach, Chairman of Equens' Board of Directors: "Linking the communities of our CSMs will benefit our clients in numerous ways. We offer them cost efficiency by operating on existing infrastructures as well as speed through same day settlement thanks to synchronized cut-off times and freedom of choice". Furthermore, the CSM service through bilateral links complies to industry standards such as European Payment Council (EPC) Scheme Rulebooks and Implementation Guidelines, the UNIFI message sets and the PEACH/CSM framework. It's also secure by using TARGET2 for settlement and using settlement accounts held by central banks or, in the future, settlement accounts based on the fiduciary account principle as described by the EACHA framework.

With actually establishing the connection to Iberpay and Seceti, Equens once more substantiates its role as a leading European player and its dedication to bring benefits to its clients.

* EACHA is the European Automated Clearing House Association
** CSMs are Clearing & Settlement Mechanisms