Businesses using the UK’s electronic
payments system find themselves spoilt for choice between the
traditional three-day payment cycle offered by Bacs and same-day
payments offered by the Faster Payments Service (FPS) introduced in
May 2008.

Businesses must, of course, decide which of the two services
provides the optimum payment method, something traditional payment
gateways which merely link the outside world and internal back
office systems are not designed to assist with.

Addressing the need to choose the optimum payments route UK
payments technology developer Albany Software has launched ePAY, a
solution which is at present unique in the market, Georgia
Leybourne, Albany’s sales and marketing director, told

While other vendors have added features to existing products to
meet FPS service requirements, ePAY is the only product that has
been developed from scratch, stressed Leybourne. ePAY is also
designed to meet Single European Payments Area requirements.

Fundamental to ePAY, and a major advance that differentiates it
from traditional payments gateways, is its ability to analyse data,
she explained.

This is achieved by what Albany terms an “intelligent processing
engine” which analyses payments data flow and generates recommended
optimum payment methods.

Other ePAY features include an ability to warn of payments
outside preset limits and stop them if required, notify of any
account changes and reconcile data back to core applications.

Also of significance, ePAY is compatible with virtually all
accounting and payroll applications.

In addition, noted Leybourne, as a platform on which all
payments are consolidated ePAY represents an important tool for
finance departments by providing them with a real-time perspective
on cash flow.

Consolidating Albany’s first-to-market position, in March 2009
ePAY became the first Faster Payments Secure-IP (internet-based)
software product to achieve Bacs Approved Software Service (BASS)

The BASS approval process includes testing of the software by
payments processor VocaLink on behalf of Bacs and also involves
feedback from payments industry body APACS and CHAPS Clearing
Company, operator of the UK’s real-time gross settlements

The first ePAY Secure-IP service for the submission and
immediate payment of a file of direct credits such as payroll and
supplier payments via the FPS is due to be launched by Barclays
Bank in June 2009.