BBVA, Deutsche Bank and Fortis announced that they are the first banks to have successfully completed testing procedures for Credit Transfers as defined in the SEPA Testing Program.
This follows a joint announcement in 2006, at SIBOS - Sydney, in which 19 major banks committed themselves to carrying out a single and robust testing program for SEPA compliance and interoperability.
Throughout July and August 2007, BBVA, Deutsche Bank and Fortis executed a comprehensive program including testing outbound messages in order to ensure the ability of their application to generate SEPA payments as well as inbound messages to check the robustness of their payment engine when receiving valid and invalid SEPA payment messages. As part of this testing, various tools and procedures designed within the context of the SEPA testing program were used. These included Smart Test Messages, STaQS (SWIFT Testing and Qualification Service) as well as reference data directories.
As a result of these tests, BBVA, Deutsche Bank and Fortis confidently announce that they are fully ready to send and receive SEPA compliant Credit Transfer payments. They have not only demonstrated to the SEPA community their commitment to a rigorous implementation of SEPA, but also their ability to lead, showing the value of using a common testing platform. The three banks are, together with other major financial institutions, at the origin of the SEPA Testing Program.
"The SEPA Testing Program has been designed in close collaboration with the European Payment Council. This cooperation has proven very effective in terms of standard development, compliance testing and leadership. All SEPA stakeholders will benefit from it," says Alfredo Rodriguez, Director, Global Operational Services - International FORA, BBVA.
"From the outset, the objective of the SEPA Testing Program has been to ensure that the SEPA formats will work throughout the SEPA market place without country restrictions. The tools are now available to all financial institutions and market infrastructures. Everyone can now contribute to an efficient and cost-effective implementation of SEPA products," says Andrew England, Head of Product Management, Cash Management, Global Transaction Banking, Deutsche Bank.
"Testing compliance to SEPA credit transfer standards is only a first step and we will ensure we are also fully compliant with the Direct Debit specifications. However, we are already looking beyond and we will continue, with those banks that were at the origin of this initiative, to define tools and solutions to foster interoperability, reachability and efficiency in an environment that is going to undergo major transformations. The ultimate objective is to allow SEPA to deliver its expected business benefits." says Marc Aguilar, General Manager Fortis Payments Services, Fortis.