SIA, a company specialising in the management of electronic payments, and Raphaels Bank, an issuing bank recognised for enabling innovation in payments, have signed a partnership agreement for the development and launch of payment solutions in the UK and across Europe.
As part of the agreement, Raphaels and SIA will offer SEPA payments services to clients through the Bank’s indirect participation in the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit schemes. This will allow both UK and European businesses to access STEP2, EBA Clearing’s pan-European technology infrastructure for retail payments in euro managed by SIA. It currently processes over 40 million operations per day on average and more than 4,800 financial institutions in 34 European countries are reachable.
The partnership will also strengthen SIA and Raphaels’ positions in the prepaid cards market. SIA currently processes 3.3 billion card transactions and manages over 65 million payment cards in 16 European countries, whilst Raphaels settles over £6bn annually across its portfolio of prepaid, credit and debit cards.
In the mobile payments sphere, SIA will enable Raphaels, a principal member of Visa and MasterCard®, to offer contactless payments on smartphones through its “SIA EasyPay” platform. It supports both SIM-based and Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology and represents an important step forward in simplifying access to mobile payments.
In addition, Raphaels will be also able to offer instant payments to its clients through “Jiffy”, the innovative “Person to Person” (P2P) payments service developed by SIA and based on SEPA Credit Transfer which enables customers to send and receive money in real time via a smartphone. Today Jiffy is the leading P2P payments service in the eurozone with the highest number of participating banks and is ready to be integrated with the EBA Clearing’s pan-European instant payments infrastructure scheduled to go live in the fourth quarter of 2017. Among the forthcoming developments for Jiffy will be payments to participating merchants (P2B) and Public Administration bodies (P2G).
SIA will also provide its Payment Gateway platform to connect multiple channels (such as ATM, POS, cash register etc.) giving the benefit of a wider choice of payment network to customers.
John Box, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Raphaels Bank said “We are excited to be working with SIA on these important, innovative payment schemes. The complementary strengths of SIA’s proven technical capabilities and Raphaels’ reputation for industry leading issuing and sponsoring solutions, will enable a new wave of payment service providers to bring their products to the market.”
“The partnership with Raphaels Bank represents an ideal combination between our respective areas of expertise, issuing prepaid programmes on one side and managing state-of-the-art technology services around payments on the other side” commented Cristina Astore, Head of SIA North West Europe.