Consequently Equens will also process SEPA payments on one joint platform as from January 2008. The merger will boost further growth potential as market parties will be able to take their SEPA volumes to a cost-efficient, market-driven and reliable payment service provider. The resulting company will process approximately 7 billion payment transactions in 2006, which represents a market share of over 10 percent within the euro zone, making Equens one of the largest payment service providers operating in Europe. In 2005, the two combined entities had a collective turnover of 250 million euros.
The shares of the merged companies will be held by a central holding company located in Utrecht. The legal formalities required to set up the company are expected to be finalised in the coming weeks. The original companies will for the time being continue as subsidiaries within the new holding and will in the short term operate as Equens Nederland and Equens Deutschland.
The Board of Directors of Equens and its two subsidiaries comprises four members: Chairman Ben Haasdijk, Deputy Chairman Michael Steinbach, Antoon Kuijpers and Dr. Gvtz Mvller, all of whom are currently members of the Board of Directors of Transaktionsinstitut and Interpay.
Each of the shareholders of Interpay and Transaktionsinstitut will participate in Equens. The two shareholders of Transaktionsinstitut - the German DZ BANK and the Belgian KBC Bank - jointly hold 35%. Interpay's shareholders, the Dutch banks, hold 65%. The Supervisory Board comprises nine members and will be chaired by Mr. Dietrich Voigtldnder of DZ BANK.
Equens is one of Europe's largest and most innovative payment service providers - directly serving close to a hundred banks including ABN AMRO, DZ BANK, ING Bank and Rabobank and indirectly serving a further 1,000 banks. By combining the forces of Interpay and Transaktionsinstitut, Equens will be the first provider that has taken an actual step within the consolidating European payments market. With a clear growth strategy, Equens will continue to expand its position both autonomously as well as through further acquisitions and partnerships. The back-office activities and systems of the two subsidiaries will be integrated and aligned. Apart from national mass-payments the SEPA-ready ZVS(r) payment transactions processing platform will process SEPA transactions on a single platform. Its workflow-based, state-of-the art clearing core enables easy addition of new SEPA functionalities and other additional optional services. The platform is fully scalable, and can be flexibly customised to meet market requirements. It will maximise the benefits of synergy and economies of scale for the clients of Equens and be aimed at promoting interoperability and realising payment cost efficiency in the euro zone.
Strong market position and excellent prospects The European payment market will undergo radical changes during the coming years due to far-reaching standardisation and harmonisation of European payments. The creation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) will lead to a uniform euro-domestic market with mutually aligned payment products for all of Europe. This will result in more competition and consolidation; expectations are that a maximum of only three to five of the payment service providers operating in Europe will survive, each handling a volume of a minimum of at least 10 billion transactions per year.
Chairman Ben Haasdijk: "We are extremely pleased with the establishment of Equens. By combining our market volumes and systems, we will be able to achieve considerable synergy and economies of scale. We also offer an extensive service portfolio, with which we can cover the entire value chain for payments and card processing. All this results in very substantial added value for our customers as we can operate very competitively in the various markets in terms of price and quality".
Deputy Chairman Michel Steinbach: "Moreover, we will be able to process all payments over our single, common ZVS-platform in conformity with the SEPA standards from the first day of SEPA's inauguration. Together with the processing of the existing national mass-payments, this allows us to make a significant contribution to fast, safe, easy and cost-effective processing of payments within the euro zone, which is the objective of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Payments Council. Equens will also benefit from the existing partnership with the payment provider Fin-Force, located in Brussels".
As a leading expert in payment processing and one of the driving forces behind the implementation of SEPA, with a view toward further internationalisation, Equens actively participates in all relevant international bodies, such as the European Automatic Clearing Houses Association (EACHA), CEN/ISSS European e-Business Interoperability Forum (eBIF) and the European Switching Forum (ESF).