Voca, the provider of payments services, has launched the Voca Payments Switch, a software solution enabling banks to connect to the Faster Payments scheme that is being introduced next year. The Voca Payments Switch is an immediate, cost-effective, compliant and scalable solution for UK banks, which face a tight timetable to be ready for Faster Payments community testing in April 2007.
The Faster Payments scheme mandates banks to introduce same-day clearing of Internet and telephone banking credits and standing orders by November 2007. The central infrastructure of the scheme is being delivered by a joint venture between Voca and LINK. Key functionality of the Voca Payments Switch is also being used within the central infrastructure, proving the technology can handle industry volumes.
An important feature of the Voca Payments Switch is its straightforward integration into banks’ existing payments infrastructures, enabling them to meet the Faster Payments deadline at low risk; and reducing the overhead of managing the new service.
Voca has worked with Oracle to develop the product, which gives banks a solid foundation to deal with further changes to payments processing over the next few years. As well as interfacing with Faster Payments, the Voca Payments Switch provides banks with the opportunity to consolidate development across the standard BACS three-day payment service. Its flexible architecture means that it can be adapted to future SEPA requirements and multi-currency payments, ensuring organisations are ready to compete on a European level.
Marion King, Voca Chief Executive commented: "Banks are under significant pressure to introduce Faster Payments to customers within an ever-changing payments landscape. Our approach helps banks fulfil their immediate obligations under the new scheme, as well as provide the flexibility to prepare for the future."
Chris Baker, Vice President of Technology for Oracle, UK, Ireland and South Africa, said: "Oracle has worked with Voca for more than four years to develop solutions for the UK financial services industry. Now we’re supporting Voca in its mission to provide banks with a secure, scalable payments platform to speed up the electronic settlement cycle. Built on the Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware, the Voca Payments Switch will enable banks to offer same-day settlements on electronic payments, in line with the requirements of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)."
The software is capable of processing hundreds of transactions per second and uses the ISO8583 messaging protocol specified for Faster Payments. It is based on proven hardware platforms and industry-standard, open technologies allowing easy and cost-effective implementation and future scalability.
With modular functionality, the Voca Payments Switch gives banks flexibility to choose features that directly address their needs. Further modules available include: information management, user management, agency bank support and third-party beneficiary processing.