The Coprocess system is already SEPA compliant. We have created XML ISO 20022 format payment files to comply with the SEPA requirements. We did hope at one point that XML format files would replace all other local payment formats such as Multicash for example but actually they became additional formats.

We have been monitoring industry progress towards SEPA compliance by, for example, following articles in the press and attending webinars by leading companies in the payment field, such as this recent webinar from Bottomline Technologies - February 14: The End Of The Beginning and interesting articles in the press such as this one from TreasuryToday The Long and Winding Road to SEPA.

Bottomline defines the corporates that have to meet the deadline as 'organisations with euro bank accounts in the eurozone or collecting euro Direct Debits'. For Corporates there are advantages to SEPA, but taking the benefit involves a lot of work and for many solutions already existed. Also meeting the deadline takes focus away from other areas. Again in the webinar Bottomline discusses the advantages, including how 'SEPA schemes can achieve lower bank fees, as well as gaining internal cost savings and working capital efficiencies' but warns 'Non-compliance could result in penalty fees or even failed payments'. 

Coprocess is working with clients so we can react quickly if, come the deadline, there are some last minute changes needed due to factors outside our control. We recently sent a short questionnaire to our clients for example, to ensure that they have checked with their banks that their current method of making payments conforms to their bank's requirements and that our clients will not be charged repair fees or other charges after 1 Feb 2014. If clients have to change current payment method then we have the formats available in our library.

SEPA blue badgeAlthough there may be an overall compliance with ISO formats by any bank, each bank, each country and each banking system requires customisation e.g. a particular field has to be present or not, if a value is present in one field then another field must some specified value etc etc. Coprocess helps by making available a test database and test area for our clients. We make available a copy of their current data in their production database in our test system and this is available to create payment files from their recent transaction information and send to their bank for validation.

Let us look forward to a smooth transition for clients needing SEPA compliance from 1 February 2014.

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