RBS prepares for SEPA with Canada’s CGI Group
The Royal Bank of Scotland has chosen Canadian IT firm CGI Group to help its corporate clients manage the transition to SEPA, the European Union project to simplify bank transfers denominated in euros.
CGI will roll out a SEPA fallback solution at RBS in collaboration with Dutch IT and payments specialist firm PowertoPay. The idea is that payments and collections will be converted into the format required for SEPA, reporting and exchange SEPA data with banks will be fully automated, and all transfers will comply with the new rules.
The RBS initiative is part of the bank’s SEPA Accelerator programme, which is the firm’s fast solution for corporate SEPA compliance. As part of the transaction, CGI’s SEPA Service will also be offered to all RBS and Ulster Bank clients. CGI will provide two main services as part of the solution: mandate management and conversions for the migration to SEPA. Implementation and ‘onboarding’ for clients are also included.
“SEPA represents a fundamental change for many of our corporate customers,” said Steve Everett, global head of cash management at RBS. “With the assistance of CGI, we can guarantee our clients an innovative, cost-effective solution for the migration of electronic payments, collections and core master data management. While converting and enriching legacy formats into SEPA formats, the solution enables corporates to bridge the time-gap between now and the migration end date of 1st of February 2014, to ensure that their internal standardisation projects are appropriately funded, without time and expertise pressure.”
SEPA is intended to simplify and harmonise bank transfers in the European Union, and as one of the pillars of European integration, is meant to help underpin the use of the single currency.
The move to a single SEPA payment system imposes a mandatory duty to switch existing payments applications and databases in favour of the new payment schemes and corresponding formats, specifically XML-formatted ISO 20022. This comes into force in February 2014 for eurozone countries, and October 2016 for businesses in non-eurozone territories that make and receive payments in Euros, and affects more than 4 billion direct debit mandates, according to CGI and Experian estimates.