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Posts Tagged ‘SEPA’

SEPA…less than 100 days to go.

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

As of February 1st 2014, existing domestic and international euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD). Introducing SEPA is the largest payments initiative ever undertaken within Europe and will affect the 28 EU Member States, the three European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland and Monaco. The SEPA European legal framework requires banks as well as bank clients to use European payment standards.

On a practical level, SEPA means that you will be able to make fast and secure transfers between bank accounts anywhere in the euro area. As such, it will have a positive effect on both domestic and international payments, with consumers benefitting from new rules for transparent pricing and prompt transfer.

Effectiveness of the banking and cash flow management systems is expected to be much higher and relative maintenance costs of these systems will get much lower.

With less than 100 days left to go for euro area countries to migrate to the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) schemes, the changeover process is now entering a critical phase. In terms of the implementation of a solid SEPA-proof ERP solution, there are a number of key points to keep in mind if you are yet to begin. 

Reliable Sources of information: When preparing for a SEPA-proof IT environment and the uninterrupted continuation of financial processes, it is important to find reliable and relevant sources of information for all legal provisions, functional requirements and technical guidelines. The payment industry is one of continuing innovation, and it is important to ensure you are fully aware of the latest possibilities. Be sure to discuss the latest developments with both your software vendor and your bank before you embark on SEPA-proofing your IT. 

IBAN (International Bank Account Number): All domestic bank numbers will have to be changed to IBAN – a longer, harder to remember code. We recommend that the large volume of information you manage on banks, debtors and creditors is changed at once using one of the specially developed software tools available. Remember to also adopt IBAN information in the layouts of all relevant business documents. In short, it is important to remember that IBAN is not only integrated into electronic payment systems, but needs to be aligned throughout your business software.  

Electronic formats:  SEPA will go a long way to resolving the current problems surrounding the diversity of electronic payment formats available, as every bank will be required to follow the ISO20022 XML standard. However, don not take it as read that this will create perfect harmonization. The adoption of new technical standards is always open to a degree of interpretation. Some banks will view the guidelines differently than others, and may have small anomalies in the way they will handle the relevant formats. Many banks also continue to support various traditional electronic bank statement formats with SEPA extensions. Despite thick SEPA rulebooks on payment formats, these differences do exist and can potentially cause problems. As such, it is very important that your bank is fully informed of how your system operates, and confirms that it will accept the XML schemas your software will produce for electronic payment documentation.

SEPA is not a technical change: Many people believe that SEPA is simply a technical change – one affecting only the bank account number and the relevant electronically exchanged banking formats. This is not the case. SEPA brings a significant knock on effect across a range of related business processes. Companies, for example, face new choices regarding their payment and collection processes. Which banks should they choose to work with? How will they deal with reconciliation or the establishment of the SDD mandate administration? How does the business stay up to date with and benefit from the continual evolution of payment technology? What are the implications for planning and budgeting next year and beyond?

Exact offers practical services guiding you through the necessary changes in both: your software and business processes. Understanding your business processes, in combination with our solutions, can help ensure you consider the full scope of SEPA related issues and avoid unpleasant surprises next year.

Interested to learn more ? Please visit  Exact SEPA services website.  You may also want to learn how to update your Exact software with the latest version via a step-by-step guide.

Your feedback to this publication, including concerns and suggestions, will definitely be evaluated towards further enrichment of SEPA solutions in Exact Globe Next.

You are welcome to stay updated on further developments in the area of cash flow management and electronic banking solutions through our regular postings on the Exact Product Blog.

european union

Exact is involved in Dutch SEPA migration plan

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

In terms of delivering business objectives Exact is focused on the preparation of necessary infrastructure for SEPA migration of its customers around Europe. As this has already been communicated in product update news, release notes and product blog posts during 2010 and 2011, Exact Globe has built a good and firm foundation for SEPA proof ERP solution, including support for IBAN and BIC, SCT and SDD.

Exact now actively participates in the Dutch SEPA Migration Plan. All existing SEPA solutions of Exact Globe are the results of close cooperation of Exact product management and banks.

Rabobank has included Exact in the list of key-stakeholders for realization of business objectives of SEPA migration project for their customers. One of the results of this project for Exact customers will be SEPA proof certification of Exact’s ERP solutions for Rabobank customers.

In order to build and maintain an external network, necessary for obtaining the functional objectives, the regional and corporate product management of Exact participated in communication sessions and in round tables, which were organized by Netherlands Bankers’ Association (NVB) and ICT-office. Many aspects and challenges relative to the realization plan have been discussed between major Dutch banks and different software vendors. 

The SEPA European legal framework requires banks as well as bank clients to use European standards for payments in euro. All companies within the EU are receiving the same requirements:

  • The mandatory use of IBAN, so no longer bank account numbers
  • A new technical standard for payment orders is XML
  • Changed product specifications for bank transfer (national and international payments) and direct debit (collections)

The impact of such changes for all business sectors should not be underestimated. Therefore prompt and due communication and collaboration between various stakeholders like suppliers of payment services (banks), corporate and private users, software suppliers and other supporting parties are required. It all drives parties to make certain agreements about relative issues, such as:

  • Communication on SEPA
  • Planning of the migration
  • Test activities
  • Monitoring migration progress and communication
  • Identifying and contributing to the solution of substantial societal migration issues.

The Dutch banking industry, represented by NVB, together with de Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) have delivered the Dutch SEPA Migration plan  which describes goals and objectives as well as major milestones, how the Netherlands will migrate from national to European payment instruments. Stakeholders of this plan are required to align their plans and activities upon the following milestones:

January 2012 Specifications for SEPA proof basic products for business need to be clearly defined and communicated.
October 2012 The infrastructure SEPA proof for mass migration to SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT) needs to be ready.
January 2013 The infrastructure SEPA proof for mass migration to SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) needs to be ready.
February 2014 The end-date SCT & SDD migration. SDD adapted to consumer protection measures regulation

 Your feedback to this publication, including  concerns and suggestions, will definitely be evaluated towards to enrichment of SEPA solutions in Exact Globe.

You are welcome to stay updated on further developments in the area of cash flow management and electronic banking solutions through our regular postings on the Exact Product Blog.

SEPA Direct Debit is supported in Exact Globe

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

In the previous blog post ‘E-banking solution and introduction of SEPA‘I have shared some knowledge and  ideas of what market requires and expects from Exact  in field of electronic banking solutions.

In the coming years SEPA will significantly affect the handling of electronic banking formats by the European banks.

As of this product update 400 Exact Globe supports SEPA direct debit (SDD) schemes. Now this is possible to generate CORE and B2B national and cross-border euro direct debits in Globe functionality in compliance with SEPA rules.

To give you an introduction on the scope of this solution we created a video:

Please have a look at our video (by clicking the picture above) and share your feedback!

Please follow our further publications regarding Cash flow management developments and SEPA implementations on the Exact Product Blog

Exact Globe product update 400 in Controlled Release

Written by Richard Smits on . Posted in Exact Globe

On behalf of the Product Management team, I am pleased to announce that Exact Globe product update 400 is in controlled release. This new product update is planned to be generally available first week of January.

More than 30 customers are already lined up to participate in the controlled release and start using it. On top of that all of Exacts partners/resellers are able to download the 400 product update as well.

Taking into consideration the end year adjustments in your regional legislation, we have added in this product update new functionalities that are crucial to your operation and will facilitate your business. We have added among others the following features:

  • Generating XML files to support online VAT returns according to the HMRC requirements (British legislation)
  • XBRL functionality that facilitates electronic communication of business and financial data for German taxonomy
  • Supplying an electronic signature for sales documents (applicable for the Portuguese legislation)

Thanks to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) initiative customers can make euro payments to anyone located in the euro area using a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments. As of this product update Exact Globe supports the national and cross-border euro direct debits throughout the SEPA area. As a result you are able to generate B2C and B2B national and cross-border euro direct debits in compliance with SEPA rules for banks in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria.   

Based on your feedback and suggestions, we continuously improve our products. In this product update you will find among others the following expansions:

  • Log reports to keep track of information changed by a user for better realization of the existing security infrastructure
  • Adjusting invoice screen for an easier selection of multiple invoices to print or process

 More about this product update soon!

 Picture credits

Improved SDD management solution in Exact Globe Next

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) brings quite some number of new requirements for not only the software solutions but also for customer business processes.

The SEPA Direct Debit enables you, as a creditor, to make pan-European collections in euros on a one-off or recurrent basis. Launched in 2009, SEPA Direct Debit has increased creditors’ responsibilities, requiring to restructure processes and build in additional procedures. In many countries, the impact of the migration to the SEPA Direct Debit will be greater than that of the migration to the SEPA Credit Transfer.

Under SEPA Direct Debit, the creditor has to store original mandates, digitalize them and send mandate-related information with each direct debit order. Pre-notification messages have to be send before debiting an account. In most European countries it is possible to re-use existing mandates when migrating to the Core version, even though the migration to SEPA requires changes and new information has to be added. For the B2B version new mandates are required.

There are two separate versions of the SEPA Direct Debit:

SEPA Direct Debit Core (also known as Standard)
This version is used for collections from individuals and business clients. The refund period is 8 weeks for authorized transactions.

SEPA Direct Debit Business-to-Business (B2B):
This version is used for collections from business to business. There is no refund for authorized transactions and a stricter mandate checking process.

Exact has introduced SDD functionality for Business Solutions customers in 2010 in the Exact Globe Next product update 400. This functionality was initially available for customers, which banks are in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany or Austria. This solution is being further extended for other SEPA countries as from Exact Globe Next product update 406. The SDD solution is also improved based on direct Exact customers feedback. Implementing these  improvements, Exact is actively involving customers into the development process with aim on satisfying most critical requirements in most convenient way for customers.  You may learn some more details about most recent improvements  in SDD functionality here.

Exact is commuted to further improvements in SEPA functionality. You are welcome to stay updated on further developments in this solution area through our regular postings on the Exact Product Blog.

SEPA

SEPA migration end date is clear … what’s now?

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

Now that the end date for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) migration has been agreed upon within Europe, the industry has begun to realize the challenges that it will face the coming years. The good news is that a clear target date is set. In the euro area, this will be 1 February 2014, subject to certain limited exemptions mentioned in the SEPA Regulation. The bad news is that many are still in the preparation rather than execution phase. It is indisputable that the migration to the SEPA will be a challenging exercise. Market participants still need to evaluate its impact on their day-to-day operations. Migration to SEPA standards requires careful planning. The relevant actions and resources should be identified as soon as possible.

In this article I would like to share a general overview of SEPA compliance statuses as well as some short term plans of Exact Globe Next functionality for customers in countries of EU Member States.

SEPA was generally introduced in the product update 390, in 2008, and has been constantly improving since then.

We have chosen a flexible approach, with which we have implemented and support SEPA Credit Transfer for all EU countries based on general ISO20022 standard guidelines in 2009. Since 2010 we continued with extending SEPA functionality for frontrunners countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria based on their national guidelines.

We are committed to plans for improving SEPA support in Exact Globe Next for all eurozone countries during 2012 and 2013.

IBAN and BIC. Customers are able to maintain IBAN and BIC in cash instruments and in debtor and creditor bank accounts in countries of EU Member States. Furthermore, to facilitate better and faster migration of bank accounts data into IBAN and BIC Exact Globe Next offers automations of generating these values for some countries or importing IBAN and BIC to debtors and creditors bank accounts for other countries.

IBAN and BIC are also included in most of layouts. For example the Exact customer in the USA is able to manage IBAN and BIC data of French debtor bank account and print this information in the sales invoice.

XML ISO20022 standards. Being based on ISO20022 standard, SEPA guidelines are allowed to be extended at the national level. Changes in national SEPA guidelines are prevail. At the same time banks within the same country are allowed to follow national or strictly EU guidelines or even extend such guidelines. Bank extensions to guidelines are prevail. Implementation of national SEPA migration plans are dependent on such diversity. Communications regarding relative technical and functional specifications as well as the speed of SEPA development in each country are different.

SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT). SCT functionality is available in Exact Globe Next for all customers and for all legislations as soon as the cash instrument and the creditor bank account are within EU and linked to euro. The frontrunners countries are having much better support of their SEPA standards.

SEPA Direct Debit (SDD). SDD was introduced in the product update 400 in 2010. This functionality is available for all customers of Exact Globe Next and for legislations as soon as the cash instrument is in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany or Austria and linked to euro and the debtor master data is provided with IBAN and BIC and the information of relative SDD mandate exists. SDD mandate management is necessary part of the functionality. Being generally compliant to XML ISO20022 standard, the structure and content of SDD are implemented based on its national extensions.

Bank statements with SEPA information. SEPA includes a definition of Cash Management (CAMT), the XML based generic bank statements structure. The introduction of this standard, at the moment, gets lesser priority compare to IBAN and BIC, SCT and SDD. Expiration time lines for currently supported bank statements are not yet clearly defined. Therefore the majority of banks extend their bank statements specifications so that remittance information of SEPA transactions can be identified for reconciliations. Currently we keep implementing changes in existing bank statements in different countries, based on their specifications.

SEPA is a topic that can be addressed in different ways than just compliance. Starting now gives some, although limited, time to plan for changes taking possible benefits into scope. It is important to recognize that the impact of SEPA implementation goes beyond Europe. Compulsory usage of the ISO20022 standard certainly will be later considered for a global roll-out outside the eurozone.

Isabel Go integrated in Exact Globe

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

I have already mentioned about our awareness of the growing demand of Exact Globe customers to have the ability to start sending payment and collection orders to banks online and receiving bank statements online and thus having banking information real-time available. Like I have announced earlier, as of the Exact Globe product update 402 Belgian Exact Globe customers can fully enjoy this automatic integration with the Isabel Go .

Isabel Go is a banking service provider, which facilitates banks and companies in Belgium in the exchange of bank statements and bank files. Its service enables companies to do all their banking transactions via one interface, such as sending all types of payment and collection files and retrieving bank statements from vast variety of banks in Belgium. By using the Isabel Go feature in Exact Globe, you can send and receive payments and account information directly to and from your banks. The Belgian bank formats, such as foreign and domestic payments/collections, SEPA direct credit transfers, SEPA direct debits as well as CODA bank statements are supported in this solution.

The functionality is presented in Exact Globe as an integrated part of its banking solution, for which Exact customers do not need to pay extra.

The solution is highly demanded in Belgium. Over 980 Belgian customers of Exact Globe, which licenses include electronic banking solution of Exact Globe, are able to start using the integrated Isabel Go feature right now.

Exact is now mentioned in the official website of Isabel as a business partner. This ensures further cooperation between two software vendors, which is beneficial for customers, who should not have any doubts that their demands on banking solutions will be satisfied.

You are welcome to stay updated on further developments in the area of cash flow management and electronic banking solutions through our regular postings on the Exact Product Blog.

Exact Globe product update 400 is generally available

Written by Richard Smits on . Posted in Exact Globe

On behalf of the Product Management team, I am pleased to inform you that as of January 6 Exact Globe product update 400 is generally available.

In this product update, next to the small enhancements based on feedback received from customers, we have focused on the year-end adjustments in the regional legislation and therefore we have included new functionalities that are crucial to your operations and will facilitate your business. Moreover, as of this product update Exact Globe supports SEPA direct debit schemes, so you can easily generate B2C and B2B national and cross-border euro direct debits in compliance with SEPA rules.

Additionally, we would like to inform you that the Central Master Data Management, which supports companies with multiple divisions in centrally maintaining information, is currently in the extended controlled release.

If you would like to find out more about above themes, check our Product Update News.

We look forward to receiving feedback or questions regarding this new product update.

E-banking solution and introduction of SEPA

Written by Alexander Kutilov on . Posted in Exact Globe

Cash flow management is one of the critical components of running a business. Cash flow management focuses on the direct incoming  and outgoing ‘bank’  channels, and this process is influenced by the terms of payment for clients/suppliers and your staff that determine when bills and salaries are paid.

The electronic banking within Cash flow management assists Exact customers to achieve the required efficiency level in generating domestic and international payment orders and cash collections. This functionality supports appropriate and easy allocation as well as reconciliation of cash flow transactions based on the intraday electronic bank statements.

Exact Globe supports numerous electronic banking formats, including formats for domestic and international payments, domestic collection orders and bank statements for multiple banks in many countries. Basically, Exact Globe has one application per country that includes a built-in logic for every locally supported bank.  With the current solution each named bank should be associated with its own electronic formats.  This solution does not take into consideration “shared“ electronic banking formats from different banks (even in the same country). The number of the supported banks relative to the number of supported electronic formats is increasing with every product update of Exact Globe.

In order to deal more efficiently with this increasing amount of individual electronic banking formats, the European Commission and the European Central Bank have come up with the initiative of Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) to create a single integrated payments environment for the Euro Region. SEPA is a single integrated payments environment for all countries within the European Union as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which covers the entire euro area from a single euro payment account. There will no longer be a difference between the banks regarding ease of use, speed, safety and costs, as well as whether a euro payment is domestic or international.

Until recently, the IBAN and BIC were used only for cross-border payments in euro. Under SEPA, they will be used for processing European credit transfers and European direct debits, whether domestic or international.

In 2008 the first phase of SEPA has been introduced. This phase includes the electronic bank payment files as a part of the SCT (SEPA Credit Transfer) implementation. Banks in the countries participants actively promote the new payment method.

Exact Globe electronic banking functionality supports this standard in all EU countries, as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The upcoming SEPA phases are:

•        CAMT:- CAsh ManagemenT – The generic bank statements created by bank.

•        SDD: SEPA Direct Debits – Companies may use this direct debit to collect payments from customers in nearly all of Europe having a single bank account only. The SEPA direct debit is identical to the current domestic direct debit where a customer issues a mandate to a business party for having their account debited.

•        SCF: SEPA Cards Framework – Any SEPA compliant card (both debit and credit) can be used anywhere in the Eurozone (subject to brand acceptance by the merchant);

In the coming years these SEPA phases will significantly affect the handling of electronic banking formats by the European banks.

Please follow our further publications regarding Cash flow management developments and SEPA implementations on the Exact Product Blog