Australian Software Provider, Distra, Helps Speed Up UK Payments

3 July 2008

Australian payments software provider, Distra, is a key player in the launch of the new and highly innovative UK real time payments service called Faster Payments. VocaLink, the UK's largest payments processor, launched Faster Payments on March 27, 2008. Faster Payments is the first application of the VocaLink Real-Time Payments Platform; which facilitates single real-time payments over a variety of channels including mobile, internet, telephone and even payment card. This variety of channels will now enable payments from consumer to consumer, consumer to business, business to consumer and business to business.

Faster Payments was developed in response to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) calling for an alternative to the existing systems. It has been a joint project between VocaLink, as the infrastructure provider, APACS, as the industry body overseeing the development, and the UK banks. The financial institutions involved in delivering the system account for 97% of all payments made. Faster Payments will run alongside existing payment schemes such as Bacs and CHAPS.

''The VocaLink Real-Time Payments Platform is one of the most revolutionary infrastructures the payments industry has seen in recent decades and has the potential to transform consumer banking behaviour and business practice across the globe,” said Martin Wilson, chief commercial officer of VocaLink. “'The new service far exceeds the original requirements of the OFT's Payment Systems Task Force. This is a payment service that maximises straight through processing and is truly self service, reducing operational cost and improving customer service.''

VocaLink is already in discussion with banks from around the world which are looking to reduce the cost of their payments infrastructure while simultaneously future-proofing it to cope with increasing demand for more real-time, spontaneous and mobile payment services.

Nick Masterson-Jones, Director of Information Technology for VocaLink, said: “We selected Distra’s technology as a key component of our solutions because its uniquely innovative architecture provides a combination of real-time performance, reliability and agility.”

Mike Aston, Chief Executive Officer of Distra said: “We are delighted to be working closely with one of the world’s leading suppliers of payments services. We recognised the huge potential for next generation payments technology arising out of new initiatives in the UK, such as the Faster Payments scheme, and the massive changes sweeping the European payments landscape under the SEPA initiative. Our relationship with Voca provides a highly effective channel for bringing our innovative payments technology to this exciting market.”

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