LogicaCMG has launched the Sepa Test Factory, designed to reduce the cost for banks of preparing and managing a test environment for credit transfer and direct debit programmes under the forthcoming single euro payments area.
LogicaCMG has partnered with Voca to use its existing clearing and settlement mechanism capabilities to bring established connectivity and infrastructure to the initiative.
The testing service can be used for a number of different channels for submitting payments and the companies claim it will reduce the cost of preparing and managing a test environment for Sepa credit transfer and direct debit programmes.
LogicaCMG says tests can be scheduled and re-run as required by the bank’s development cycle. The service operates network independently and will be maintained over the Sepa introduction and migration period to ensure banks, their clients and scheme developments can be assessed as required.
This announcement follows a study in September 2006 into over 100 top eurozone and UK-based banks about their views on readiness for Sepa which found that many banks are currently running the risk of being ill-prepared for the 2008 deadline, with extended development timetables causing delays in testing.
Although 69% of retail banks rated testing systems to Sepa requirements by the end of 2007 as 'very important' only 13% had a fully documented plan for testing and 46% had not even started to develop a plan.
Commenting on the launch, Simon Bailey, payments director, global financial services, LogicaCMG, says: "Compliance with the Sepa rulebook is compulsory for those wanting to join the Sepa schemes. With the first date for the new scheme for pan-European credit transfers only eight months away, banks and their customers will want the comfort of knowing their development cycles have either delivered results, or in some cases will need to be modified. This service avoids every bank building its own test framework and reduces the risk of every bank operating in Europe bidding for scarce and expensive IT resource at the same time."
Paul Taylor, head of European relationship management at Voca, adds: "Testing a new infrastructure can be a lengthy, costly and complex process but the Sepa Test Factory is a great opportunity to address these issues. Together Voca and LogicaCMG are providing the banking community with a stable test environment built in strict compliance with the EPC requirements for Sepa readiness, so banks can be confident they are ready to implement the new schemes in time for the launch. By using the Sepa Test Factory banks can focus on the vital development work required to take full advantage of the opportunities that Sepa brings."
The Factory provides a set of test cases and expected results tailored to the bank’s own data; infrastructure to allow multiple test cycles across established channels (including SwiftNet and Secure File Transfer); and reporting and advice on the achievement of compliance.