Germany's WestLB is to use VocaLink's euro CSM clearing and settlement system to send and receive Sepa-compliant payments in and out of Germany.
The deal paves the way for direct routing of all payments by banks connected to VocaLink in the rest of Europe to savings banks in Germany and vice-versa.
VocaLink says the agreement helps it gain direct access to Payments Clearing Europe (Payce), the automated clearing house of Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe - Germany's savings banks and Landesbanks.
Payce was launched earlier this month and all state bank groups are now jointly offering their entire range of services for the handling of cashless money transactions under a single brand. VocaLink says Payce handles around seven billion transactions a year.
The processor says the deal creates synergies, meaning customers get low-cost and timely processing of their payment transfers.
Steffen Kowalski, member of the divisional board, WestLB, says: "The cooperation agreement signed with VocaLink will yield process and cost advantages for the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. I am therefore particularly pleased that WestLB not only makes an important contribution to Sepa but can also further expand its role in the payments field in partnership with the savings banks."
WestLB and VocaLink plan further cooperation for the launch of Sepa direct debits in November 2009.