Compared to the number of domestic transactions, cross-border payments can be characterised by relatively low transaction volumes and high associated fixed costs. The cross-border service offering from the Federal Reserve Banks and Equens will support banks in further reducing their processing cost base, and strengthen their competitive position in the market.
The strategic partnership between the Federal Reserve Banks and Equens is based on an increasing market demand for efficient processing of low-value cross-border payments on a global level. Both organisations are also members of the International Payments Framework (IPF) – a collaborative effort among public and private payment groups in Africa, Europe, North America and South America.
The partnership with Equens is an important element of the FedGlobalSM ACH Services which were recently introduced at the Payments 2009 conference in Orlando (US). "When talking with clients, we saw a clear demand for expanded payment services to and from Europe. Together with payment processor Equens, we can offer our clients an excellent, secure and cost-efficient solution", says Elizabeth McQuerry, Assistant Vice President of the Federal Reserve Banks' Retail Payments Office.
Equens, one of the largest payment processors in Europe, is delighted about the strategic partnership. "The partnership with the Federal Reserve Banks is an important step for Equens and fits well with our vision on a global payments area. We are constantly looking for economies of scale, thereby creating opportunities for our clients – the banks – to further reduce their processing costs. By offering a standardised channel for cross-border payments processing, our clients do not have to worry about the complexity of maintaining different cross-border systems", says Michael Steinbach, Chairman of Equens’ Board of Directors. The partnership with the Federal Reserve Banks will enable Equens to further expand its cross-border payments processing business. Equens currently processes cross-border payments in multiple currencies for the German DZ BANK.