European payments processors Equens, Iberpay, Seceti Stet and VocaLink have jointly agreed to establish bilateral interoperability for the exchange of Sepa payments.
The processors forming the agreement handled over 18 billion in direct debit and credit transfer payments in 2006.
The group says it has commenced testing over SwiftNet FileAct and each company is making the necessary arrangements to ensure interoperability is achieved in time for the launch of the single euro payments area (Sepa) in January 2008.
The agreement will also see the first implementation of version 3.0 of the Technical Interoperability Framework, which was approved by the European Automated Clearing House Association (Eacha) in August. The framework was designed to help establish interoperability between banks and ACHs, as well as interoperability between European payment processors.