Steria and Experian Launch Managed Services for SEPA Compliance

Business services provider, Steria, and Experian, the global information services company, have partnered to deliver managed solutions in the single euro payments area (SEPA) compliant payments arena. The companies said that their combined offering will offer corporate customers an end-to-end service that will take the pain out managing SEPA, making the process more efficient and cost-effective.

The vendors added that 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, while bringing value added services to corporate treasurers and chief financial officers (CFOs) seeking an off-the-shelf solution to their SEPA data readiness needs.

Experian reports that it 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 (e-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.

The company claims that only 65% of euro transactions are underpinned by fully accurate destination account data, while 45% of new SEPA-compliant International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs) stored by large European businesses do not have the valid corresponding Bank Identifier Codes (BICs) required to enable successful completion of transactions.

According to Experian, the analysis indicates that a range of error types will lead to failed payments when made through SEPA, costing businesses approximately €50 per failure, leaving a total bill of more than €20bn a year.

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