Sterling Commerce introduces support for Ebics in France

Source: Sterling Commerce

Sterling Commerce, an AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) company, today announced the availability of Sterling EBICS (France) Banking Server Module, an add-on to Sterling Integrator, part of the Sterling Business Integration Suite.

French banks will now be able to fully integrate EBICS transmissions with SWIFT and other existing payments processes within a consolidated payments processing environment.

The robust security, governance architecture and standards support delivered in the Sterling EBICS (France) Banking Server Module provides French banks and international banks operating in France with a comprehensive processing solution for inbound and outbound EBICS transmissions. The Module is fully integrated with the Sterling Integrator data authentication, validation, conversion and routing processes and financial standards libraries. Overall, therefore, the solution offers seamless and secure interoperability with other data formats and networks such as SWIFTNet, and an opportunity for incremental consolidation of payment operations.

"For financial and commercial communities in France, the EBICS implementation timeframe introduces an additional layer on top of other critical change programs, not least the concurrent introduction of SEPA Direct Debits and the implementation of Payment Services Regulations together with other credit and liquidity risk reporting requirements," comments Trevor LaFleche, Senior Analyst at IDC Financial Insights.

In delivering a complete solution to help financial institutions meet the impending EBICS compliance requirements, Sterling Commerce also offers Sterling Community Manager, a component of Sterling Integrator that uses pre-defined programs to automate the on-boarding of new community members. This capability enables French banks to rapidly connect large numbers of commercial customers, and deliver new EBICS processing services.

Richard Spong, Financial Services Industry Marketing Manager at Sterling Commerce, EMEA, comments: "With the current availability of ETEBAC protocols expected to end in 2011, both banks and commercial enterprises must evolve their business-to-business systems to support EBICS as the new standard for business data communication, and achieve that evolution while maintaining 'business-as-usual'."

EBICS transmissions across business and financial communities can be achieved either through direct support for the EBICS standard and related processes or by connection to SWIFTNet. French banks will have commercial customers, correspondent banks and financial services partners that use only one of these options, meaning the banks' technology must support and inter-operate between both.

"For French banks, these requirements are additional to demands made by the business for lower cost payments processing and improved e-commerce services for corporate customers. The pace of change is accelerating at a time when few banks have any budget for real IT innovation. The default reaction is to make due with a 'good-enough', interim solution. This short term approach creates operational problems and cost overhead for the future. Even in the current difficult economic conditions, banks must prioritise a strategic approach that enables them to deliver continuous low cost improvements of their payment capabilities," concludes Trevor LaFleche.

Pre-release version testing of the interoperability of the Sterling EBICS (France) Banking Server Module included a test with the EBICS client solution that is available within Sage software, and implemented by Sage corporate clients, which represent over half of the 90,000 ETEBAC users in France. The two solutions were found to be fully compatible.

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