European payments processors Equens and VocaLink have implemented a bilateral link for the exchange of single euro payments area (Sepa) transfers using procedures established under the European Automated Clearing House Association (Eacha) framework.
The move is part of an October 2007 agreement inked by a group of processors - which includes Spain's Iberpay and Italy's Seceti - to establish bilateral interoperability for the exchange of Sepa payments.
The group is using version 3.0 of the Technical Interoperability Framework, which was approved by Eacha in August last year. The framework was designed to help establish interoperability between banks and ACHs, as well as between European payment processors.
Equens and UK counterpart Vocalink say the new arrangement supports their Sepa offerings, whilst helping to create a more competitive market by enabling banks to choose the processor they want to use.
Furthermore, as both firms have more than one settlement cycle per day, customers of VocaLink and Equens will be able to make payments on a same day basis.
Manfred Schuck, general manager, marketing and sales, Equens, says: "This connection with VocaLink is a logical step for Equens to further expand its payments network in Europe. Cooperation on infrastructure and competition on services will truly help making Sepa a success."
"This partnership enables us to improve the products and level of service we can offer our customers at a fraction of the cost of building a completely new network," adds Martin Wilson, chief commercial officer, VocaLink.
Equens began the bilateral exchange of Sepa payments with Iberpay and Seceti in April.