Austrian bank Bawag PSK has signed up with payments vendor VocaLink for a pilot scheme to help its business-to-business direct debit payments become Sepa-compliant.
The project, announced at the Sibos event in Vienna, is due to go live in the first quarter of 2009 and is designed to enable Bawag to test and validate its direct debit services before the deadline for Sepa compliance in November 2009.
"Sepa direct debits (SDD) will be the trigger for widespread European adoption of Sepa and our corporate customers will now get a chance to realise the benefits of Sepa early," say Joseph Laughlin, member of the management board at Bawag.
"Every bank will have to include Sepa-compliant offerings," adds Martin Wilson, chief commercial officer at VocaLink. "These need to be supported by robust processes and systems that meet the requirements of the EPC rulebook. Our pilot provides a safe environment for testing and migrating to SDD."
The transaction processing house has also announced plans to implement an equivalent scheme in the UK with Royal Bank of Scotland.