Bacs seeks new payment opportunities in Europe

Bacs seeks new payment opportunities in Europe

Bacs, the UK's automated clearing house, has restructured its business and appointed new management as it looks to cash in on emerging payment markets and trust opportunities and expand into Europe.

The bank-owned company, which annually processes some 3.7 billion consumer and business transactions, has created new divisions devoted to maintainting standards, improving sales and marketing, and exploring new ventures.

The organisational overhaul follows a recent upgrade in Bacs technology to IP-based processing and the completion of a business review programme initiated by CEO Marion King in association with IBM Business Consulting.

"The review has set out to realise Bacs' full potential based upon its position at the heart of the UK payments industry," says King. "We have been able to identify new business opportunities that will confer direct strategic or commercial benefits to shareholders and customers."

First among new recruits is David Sear, a founder member of Internet payment company WorldPay, as Bacs scheme director - a new division charged with managing the standards and processes governing debit and credit transactions across the network.

A product and business development division will be responsible for the sales, marketing and development of Bacs' current products, with a new emphasis on the company's sales capability. David Sanderson, director, will lead this division reporting to the Bacs chief executive.

At the same time, Bacs is creating a new ventures group "to address commercial opportunities, seek industry partnerships that leverage new payment technology and develop a role for Bacs in Europe". Martin Wilson, formerly director of the NewBacs tehnology programme, will direct this group. A major part of his role will be to focus on how the new IP infrastructure can be harnessed to support payments in new areas.

The technology renewal programme and all future IT programme development is handed over to the newly created chief operating officer (COO) function headed up by Steve Grigg, who is also responsible for Bacs' IT operations, infrastructure and applications. Grigg was formerly director of treasury services at Reuters and president of Reuters Transactions Services Ltd (RTSL).

In addition, Bacs has created a new project management function, responsible for overseeing completion of all corporate programmes and initiatives, under the direction of Derek Barnby.

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