DESSELDORF, Germany, ZUG, Switzerland, LONDON and PARIS, March 12 --
- Joint SEPA Direct Debit Project Launched
- ClickandBuy to Pass on Cost Advantages to Merchants
WestLB AG and ClickandBuy today launched the first Europe-wide pilot project on the future Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Until now companies and private persons in each member country have had to comply with a variety of legal frameworks in the payments field. Going forward, payments can be effected more easily and more cheaply throughout Europe via SEPA.
Under the model project, WestLB and ClickandBuy will simplify European payments settlement at an early stage. The aim is to significantly reduce the administrative costs of companies operating throughout Europe.
"ClickandBuy operates in all European countries. For each country the company has to take into account a wide range of technical requirements and the legal framework, which is expensive and ties up resources. We will change this, and we will jointly introduce the new payment formats", says Steffen Kowalski, Head of Transaction Services at WestLB and a member of the European Payments Council. "This pilot project of WestLB and ClickandBuy is the first of its kind and underpins the innovative power of payment specialist ClickandBuy", added Kowalski.
"As the partner of WestLB, ClickandBuy will expand its position as a European E-bank and will also achieve substantial cost advantages as a result of the simplified payments procedure", says Norbert Stangl, CEO and founder of ClickandBuy. "These cost advantages will benefit our merchants - for example our partner Apple iTunes, for whom we process payment transactions throughout Europe."
SEPA serves a market comprising over 61 billion transactions Europe-wide. The creation of the Single Euro Payments Area is part of the development and implementation of the single market in the European Union (EU). As the most important body of the European banking industry, the European Payments Council (EPC) has developed uniform pan-European products which will be available throughout the EU from January 1, 2008. The introduction of these products requires banks and customers to adopt fresh approaches both technologically and strategically.
About WestLB AG
WestLB AG is a European commercial bank with headquarters in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most densely populated federal state. With Group total assets of EUR 292.1 billion as of September 30, 2006, it is one of Germany's leading financial services providers. It is the central institution for the roughly 125 savings banks in North Rhine-Westphalia and Brandenburg and acts as their link to the global financial markets. Working in close partnership with the savings banks, WestLB offers the full range of products and services of a universal bank, focusing on lending, structured finance, capital market and private equity products, asset management, transaction services and real estate finance. WestLB employed 5,853 staff as of September 30, 2006. WestLB is one of Germany's leading banks in the payments field. With a total of 1.7 billion transactions it has a market share of approximately 11 per cent.
ClickandBuy is one of the leading E-Payment systems in Germany and Europe. In Switzerland ClickandBuy is operated by licensing partner SWISSCOM and in other European markets by ClickandBuy (Europe) Ltd. ClickandBuy will shortly also be available in Latin America via TELMEX. Today over 7,000 suppliers already use ClickandBuy for payments settlement, including Apple iTunes, T-Online, AOL, Skype, Meetic, Electronic Arts, Stiftung Warentest - and more than 8,000,000 customers pay with ClickandBuy.
In January 2007 Intel invested in ClickandBuy. At the same time ClickandBuy announced a global strategic partnership with Intel. In August 2006 Deutsche Telekom acquired a ten per cent stake in ClickandBuy.
Deutsche Telekom and ClickandBuy intend to expand their existing cooperation in strategic terms, with ClickandBuy assuming responsibility for the global settlement of Deutsche Telekom's comprehensive range of products and services. In January 2006, 3i also invested EUR 20 million to support ClickandBuy in its strategy of international expansion.
Director of Corporate Communications
Source: ClickandBuy Services AG