Steria, a leading provider of IT-enabled business services, and Experian, the global information services company, have announced today a partnership to deliver managed solutions in the SEPA compliant payments arena.
The combined offering will offer corporate customers an end-to-end service that will take the pain out of managing SEPA, making the process more efficient and cost-effective.
The partnership will bring total end-to-end solutions to corporate customers seeking SEPA readiness data conversion services, ongoing SEPA payments validation and compliance support. The partnership brings value added services to Corporate Treasurers and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) seeking a total off-the-shelf solution to their SEPA data readiness needs.
Experian has analysed more than half a million bank account records held by businesses around Europe for the period running up to February 2012. The results show that 12% of electronic payments made to and from firms in Euros currently contain data errors that could critically block the timely and cost-effective transfer of funds when new SEPA legislation comes into effect in February 2014.
Only 65% of euro transactions are underpinned by fully accurate destination account data, while 45% of new SEPA-compliant IBANs stored by large European businesses do not have the valid corresponding BICs required to enable successful completion of transactions.
The analysis indicates that a range of error types will lead to failed payments when made through SEPA, costing businesses approximately EUR50 per failure, leaving a total bill of more than EUR20 billion a year,
Sean Tomlinson, Head of Finance Consulting at Steria UK said, "I am pleased to announce the partnership with Experian bringing together their excellent Bank Wizard product and market leading Data sets with Steria's award winning Business Process Outsourcing and Data Management capabilities. The partnership brings a unique market offering creating a total SEPA solution, from the initial advisory consultancy to the managed solution to this urgent and time critical compelling event. This is especially important when Corporate Treasurers and CFOs are facing so many other regulatory and compliance issues demanding their attention."
"We are delighted to work with such a trusted organisation as Steria to help solve the problem of Euro payment under SEPA," continues Jonathan Williams, Director of Payment Strategy at Experian. "We strongly believe that many accounts which are currently in use for payments contain errors which are currently being repaired or handled by existing banking systems; with IBAN-only payments under SEPA, this reduces the potential to correct them. Businesses therefore need reliable partners such as Steria and Experian to help ensure that the data is correct."