Experian, the global information services company, has been appointed by the Payments Council to create and maintain an industry database of corporate customers' payment information. The central biller database, which will improve the accuracy of payments made using online and telephone banking, is scheduled to go live in late 2012.
Experian will collect, verify and standardise information from banks on how their corporate customers (billers) receive payments. The full database is to be used by banks to make it easier for online and telephone banking customers to find accurate information when paying their bills - for example, via simplified drop-down menus. The service will also benefit billers, who will find it easier to reconcile incoming electronic payments by providing more accurate billing information for customers to use.
The central biller database is an initiative from the Payments Council's recently published National Payments Plan (2011-2014), forming part of the Payment Council's programme of activity to enhance existing payment services through innovation.
Jonathan Williams, Director of Strategy at Experian Identity and Fraud comments: "Experian estimates up to a quarter of customer references are invalid or incorrectly formatted, increasing the time it takes to credit payments and sometimes preventing them from being credited altogether, particularly when bill issuers change their account details, switch banks, or are involved in a merger or takeover.
"This database will help ensure banks hold correct and up-to-date information for billers and it will give both corporate and consumer customers' confidence their payment will reach the right recipient and will be processed quickly."
Hilary Plattern, Head of Strategy for the Payments Council, said: "This innovative solution is a win-win: consumer customers making payments benefit from increased confidence in the accuracy of the information they use to pay bills online or over the phone, while companies can be confident their customers are using up-to-date bank account and sort code details, as well as correctly-formatted references.
"This new database is an excellent example of the Payment Council's commitment to put customers' needs at the centre of the way payment methods are designed. We look forward to working with Experian to develop and deliver this service."
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses in the areas of fraud prevention and fraud solutions (including banking fraud), as well as helping to manage credit risk, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion.
For more information, visit www.experianplc.com.
About the Payments Council
The Payments Council is the body with responsibility for ensuring that payment services work for all those that use them in the UK. This unique role ensures that it listens to a wide range of stakeholders to drive innovation in payments and implement change so that individuals and businesses have access to payments for their current and future needs. The company is, by nature, a collaborative body so it works with the financial institutions in the payments industry as well as listening to the voices of its external stakeholders. The Payments Council has three core objectives: to have a strategic vision for payments and lead the future development of co-operative payment services in the UK; to ensure payment systems are open, accountable and transparent; and to ensure the operational efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of payment services in the UK.
For more information visit www.paymentscouncil.org.uk
24a St John Street
020 7490 8828
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