Norwegian Clearing House BBS Selects Sterling Multi-Enterprise Finance Gateway to Streamline Finance Transaction Processing

Sydney, AU – 10 October 2006

Packaged, Highly Scalable Financial Solution Reduces Costs and Lays Foundation for Future Revenue Growth and Service Diversification

At SIBOS 2006, Sterling Commerce, the multi-enterprise collaboration company and a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), today announced that BBS (Banking and Business Solutions) has selected Sterling Multi-Enterprise Finance Gateway to consolidate its payments and data exchange through a single gateway. BBS is deploying Sterling Multi-Enterprise Finance Gateway to reduce costs, increase revenue and provide the necessary flexibility to enable BBS to deliver new services for the banking and payments industry as it migrates to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

BBS is an automated clearing house (ACH) that acts as a hub for the processing of electronic payment transactions for banks and corporations in Norway, handling approximately 3.4 million payments daily. The European payments sector is currently experiencing a fall in revenue margins for payment transactions, despite a steady increase in the volume of transactions processed. BBS therefore required a payments solution that could significantly reduce the cost per transaction to enable the company to exploit growth opportunities offered by rising transaction volumes.

BBS selected Sterling Multi-Enterprise Finance Gateway to provide a single gateway to consolidate payment channels of card and domestic payments, which were previously processed by diverse, overlapping hardware and software solutions. Sterling Multi-Enterprise Finance Gateway replaced these disparate payments channels by managing multiple payment formats and communications protocols, including United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce, and Transport (EDIFACT) and Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) SWIFT FIN messages. It also offers capabilities such as intelligent, content-based message routing of messages, which also enables BBS to create additional revenue streams by offering new information services.

By consolidating payment flows into a single process and by migrating to a new, clustered UNIX environment, BBS has achieved increased visibility and scalability that helps it offer competitive transaction costs and maintain BBS’ leadership position among European payment service providers. BBS also has the flexibility to diversify and add new services such as e-invoicing, without the need for disruptive re-engineering or significant investment in new IT systems. With the SEPA initiative set to drive consolidation of the ACH industry, the flexibility to offer new services - in Norway and across Europe - enables BBS to safeguard its position in the payments industry.

“Sterling Multi-Enterprise Finance Gateway has enabled us to provide a single gateway for all payments processing, thereby reducing costs and increasing revenue, said Knut R. Bjerke, executive vice president at BBS. “Alongside our new UNIX-based platform, Sterling Multi-Enterprise Finance Gateway has enabled us to transform our business, streamlining and automating our payments processing. We are now well-placed to build on our existing strengths and diversify our service offerings in Norway and, by way of SWIFT, across the rest of Europe.”

“While enabling BBS to integrate multiple payments systems for cost efficiencies and improved visibility, Sterling Multi-Enterprise Finance Gateway also positions BBS for immediate revenue growth," said Jim Gahagan, global industry executive, financial services, for Sterling Commerce. “With this solution, BBS now has a complete communications platform for payments and other financial cross-enterprise communications, as well as the necessary flexibility to respond quickly to major process refinements and major changes in community profiles.”

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