VocaLink launches European €CSM payments system

Tansaction management company VocaLink has launched a pan-European payment service providing domestic and international transaction services to banks and corporations.

VocaLink, formed by the merger of market leaders Voca and ATM network operator Link which completed today, partnered with 10 banks to create the service, which it claims is the first of its kind in Europe. Partner banks include Abbey National owner Santander, Bank of America, Dexia, and Lloyds TSB. This partnership, called the €CSM, will allow customers to benefit from the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), when launched in January 2008.

SEPA was developed by the European Payments Council to make payment processing easier. Sepa will allow customers to use a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments to make cashless euro payments to anyone in the euro area, resulting in less expensive processing.

"VocaLink has the scale to offer pan-European processing services that meet the challenges of SEPA," said Marc Aguilar, the general manager of payment services at Fortis, an international banking and insurance services company.

VocaLink operates one of the world's busiest ATM networks, connecting more than 60,000 ATMs and processing over 80 million transactions a day.

"The scale of our operation and breadth of our service portfolio means that we can help banks of all sizes meet the challenges of the future," said Marion King, VocaLink's chief executive.