BankServ targets Western Europe with Star-Achats partnership

Source: BankServ International

Marking its entry into the Western European marketplace, software developer BankServ International announced an agreement that allows STAR-ACHATS of Paris to distribute its banking systems throughout France and the surrounding region.

Currently used in more than 50 countries, BankServ's software is employed by hundreds of banks to settle cross-border transactions over the international SWIFT Network.

STAR-ACHATS will offer BankServ's popular TurboSwift system in an area that comprises the fourth-largest concentration of SWIFTNet users in the world. TurboSwift has been favored by many small and mid-sized banks as an alternative to purchasing a full SWIFT membership or paying larger money-center banks to process international transactions on their behalf.

The recent introduction of several new banking standards in Europe - including SEPA, TARGET2 and SwiftNet Phase 2 - has also made a significant number of financial institutions consider modernizing their back-office systems, says Thierry Kolton, founder of STAR-ACHATS. Because BankServ's products have already been updated to meet those standards, banks may find them an attractive option to assure a smooth transition, he predicts.

"French banks are under an increasing amount of pressure to conform to standards like SEPA and TARGET2 - there are a lot of banks that will need to make an upgrade," Kolton said. "Since BankServ can provide that compatibility, we hope banks in and around France will be able to benefit from our entry into the market."

The same software has enjoyed popularity in the United Kingdom and Eastern European financial markets, where BankServ has installed it in over 100 banks since its introduction. Additionally, since a French-language version of TurboSwift already existed for Canadian banks, France was a logical choice for expansion, says Mary Ellen Putnam, who heads BankServ's international division.

"With the success that we've had in the surrounding areas, we're very excited about the potential that exists for us in France and Western Europe," Putnam said. "We think we're bringing a product to market at a time when banks will really have a use for it."

In addition to automating the data-entry and routing functions for international payment messages, BankServ's system also has other features, such as the ability to let remote bank branches initiate their own payments through a central server. Related products can handle foreign exchange or translate files between back-office banking systems that have compatibility issues.

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