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Bacs rebrands as Voca

12 October 2004  |  11101 views  |  0 Marion King VOCA

Bacs Limited, the UK's automated clearing house, has changed its name to Voca. The move is designed to reinforce the 2003 re-structure of Bacs, which has seen it take a more commercial focus. Bacs Payment Schemes Limited remains as the UK's membership-based industry body for promoting and supporting the direct debit and direct payment schemes.

CEO Marion King says the company wanted a new image that better reflected the technology transformation it has undertaken over the past few years, and the opportunities it sees for using its payment network expertise to offer new products and services to banks, governments and businesses.

It is particularly targeting the European market where it expects to see consolidation among the existing automated clearing houses (ACH) and other opportunities that arise from the introduction of the single European payment area (SEPA).

"We worked with several agencies in the process of rebranding," says King. "But we were very prudent in our approach and have learned lessons from other organisations that didn't manage the process sucessfully. The name Voca comes from the latin to call, which ties in nicely to the concept of calling down funds. We also feel that the name has a more international feel to it, which is in line with our objectives."

Asked whether she was worried that people might continue calling the organisation Bacs despite the rebranding, King says she expects that commercial success and more partnerships such as the one it has with CheckFree will help reinforce the new image and direction.

As the EU's largest ACH, Voca processed over four billion payments in 2003. But it’s now looking to expand its product range and develop mutually beneficial initiatives, partnerships and joint ventures, worldwide. A new ventures division is also focused on leveraging existing and new capabilities, with the ability to embrace anything from the exchange of confidential medical data to mobile transactions.

"The global electronic payments market is evolving rapidly and we’re well positioned to shape it," says King. "Our existing customers will continue to benefit from a versatile, scaleable, secure and utterly reliable service. We will also be building on our core payments business by delivering world beating, secure transaction solutions. Our commitment to growing our global capability and our investment in technical innovation guarantees our place as the front-runner in the burgeoning international electronic payments market."

Marilyn Spearing, head of global payments and cash management, HSBC, says: "Voca’s launch is a key step towards realising our vision of defining a model for a new breed of international ACH. The net result is an agile, dynamic and commercially focused business that is perfectly placed to compete in a free global market for international electronic payments."
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