VocaLink has completed pilot testing of Sepa direct debit exchanges between corporate customers and three European banks, ABN Amro, Bawag and Royal Bank of Scotland
The UK-based payment processor says the pilots have allowed the three participant banks to test fully a broad range of SDD business-to-business (B2B) services in a safe, virtual environment without internal IT changes or significant operational or reputational risk.
Martin Wilson, chief commercial officer at VocaLink, says the firm's 'pay-as-you-go' approach has enabled the banks to achieve SDD compliance at a reduced cost while mitigating the risk of slow take-up.
"Our SDD solution not only ensures compliance but also provides functionally rich services such as payments capture, validation, mandate management and exceptions management, enabling banks to make a real impact with their corporate customers," he says. "We are now offering new banks the opportunity to join the early adopters by participating in the next VocaLink pilot exercise."
Austria's Bawag ran the pilot in conjunction with two of its corporate clients and is planning to start promoting SDD B2B services in the coming weeks.
Joseph Laughlin, member of the management board at Bawag comments: "We successfully tested most of the expected situations in a SDD real life scenario within the TARGET2 test environment, including creditor and debtor functionality, linked using the VocaLink Euro CSM. The pilot has allowed us to gain early familiarity with SDD and show a leadership position by engaging our corporate customers and demonstrating the tangible benefits of the scheme to them."