Microsoft and La Caixa Collaborate on SEPA, Set to Go Live in Six Months


Microsoft and La Caixa Collaborate on SEPA, Set to Go Live in Six Months

ROME, June 4 / / -

- Payments system based BizTalk Server will help Spanish banking group to comply with ISO20022.

Today at the EBAday 2007 conference Microsoft Corp announced that, following a competitive proof-of-concept stage, La Caixa d'Estalvis y Pensions de Barcelona (La Caixa), the third largest financial group in Spain, has chosen Microsoft(R) technology as the foundation of its new payments system to support its Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and SWIFT InterAct and FileAct messaging services.

La Caixa's new payments system will help manage SEPA payments validation, enrichment, transformation and routing to the appropriate clearing house. La Caixa will work with the clearing house of Euro Banking Association (EBA), the pan-European automated clearing house (PE-ACH) and Iberpay, the Spanish clearing and settlement mechanism (CSM). Expected to go live the last quarter of 2007, the system will fully support SEPA Credit Transfers and SEPA Direct Debits when available.

Based on Microsoft BizTalk(R) Server and BizTalk Accelerator for SWIFT, La Caixa's system will provide a stable infrastructure to integrate its mainframe and Windows(R) services using different messaging systems. The existing infrastructure will become more agile and capable of deploying new products and services. It will form the foundation for FIN, FileAct and InterAct traffic messaging services and will also enable the bank to benefit from new SWIFTSolutions such as SWIFTNet Funds, Trade Services Utility, Cash Reporting and Exceptions and Investigations services.

Andreu Purroy, IT manager of clearing, settlement and Swift systems of La Caixa said, "We wanted a new payments infrastructure for ISO20022 standards that could be easily integrated with our existing systems and agile enough to easily adapt any potential future modifications to SEPA formats and validations. We're confident that by deploying a flexible system based on Microsoft software our people will be able to respond quickly to regulatory changes, keeping us ahead of the competition and able to offer the highest standard of service to our customers. In the future, we will re-use the new infrastructure in other bulk payments, in order to reduce complexity."

Sheida Hadji-Ashrafi, industry manager payments, Worldwide Financial Services at Microsoft, said, "Europe is rapidly heading towards the SEPA deadline. One of the major benefits of using Microsoft technology for payments is that it's so quick to implement while still being incredibly cost-effective. We have built a very strong working relationship with the La Caixa team to ensure that it will be fully SEPA compliant well before the deadline as well as helping the bank to gain a competitive advantage in the industry."

About Microsoft in Financial Services

Microsoft's Financial Services group helps financial firms leverage technology to amplify the impact their people can deliver to drive business success. We help our customers in banking, capital markets/securities, and insurance achieve four business outcomes: develop relationships, drive innovation, improve operations, and build connections. To do this, we focus our products and technologies, and our work with leading solutions, services and hardware partners, on key areas where we believe we and our partners can deliver exceptional value - those areas include advisor platforms, channel renewal, core banking, enterprise risk management and compliance, insurance value chain, and payments. For more information, visit www.microsoft.com/financialservices.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About Microsoft EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

Microsoft has operated in EMEA since 1982. In the region Microsoft employs more than 13,000 people in over 60 subsidiaries, delivering products and services in more than 138 countries and territories.

This material is for informational purposes only. Microsoft Corporation disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to use of the material for other purposes. Microsoft Corporation shall not, at any time, be liable for any special, direct, indirect or consequential damages, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other action arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of the material. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting any kind of warranty.

Microsoft, BizTalk and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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Source: Microsoft

Microsoft EMEA Response Centre, +44-870-243-0515, emearesponse@waggeneredstrom.com .

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