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Transatlantic Collaboration Launches New International Payments Service

October 25, 2010

CLEVELAND, October 25, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — The Federal Reserve Banks and
Equens have successfully processed the first automated clearinghouse payments
via a new standardized channel for low-value cross-border payments between
the United States and Europe. U.S. Bank and DZ BANK are the first banks to
use this new channel.

In 2009, the Federal Reserve Banks and Equens announced a strategic
collaboration for the processing of cross-border payments, later extending
this collaboration to include DZ BANK. The effort enables financial
institutions in the United States to send payments in U.S. dollars, Euros and
British pounds to 22 countries across Europe via FedGlobal(R) ACH Payments.
Conversely, banks across Europe can send U.S. dollar payments via Equens to
the United States. DZ BANK serves as the European gateway operator, with
Equens acting as the payment processor.

“The Federal Reserve Banks are excited to launch this strategic offering
to support U.S. financial institution efforts to reduce processing costs and
offer cutting-edge services that enable global commerce,” said Marie Gooding,
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta executive vice president and product manager
of the Federal Reserve’s Retail Payments Office.

This new channel for cross-border payments is the first live
implementation of the payments framework of the International Payments
Framework Association (IPFA), a collaborative effort among public and private
payment groups in Africa, Europe, North America and South America to
standardize and make more efficient the transfer of low-value payments around
the world. The Federal Reserve Banks, Equens and U.S. Bank are members of the
IPFA. Two other IPFA members, C2P (Clear2Pay) and SWIFT (Society for
Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), supported the Reserve
Banks’ technological implementation.

DZ BANK joined the initiative in part because Equens currently processes
cross-border payments in multiple currencies for DZ BANK. Thomas Ullrich,
member of the Board at DZ BANK, said “The new channel is fast and reliable
and further advances the cross-border payments services we are offering to
our customers.” According to Michael Steinbach, chairman of Equens’ Board of
Directors, “This service fulfils an increasing demand within Europe for the
efficient processing of low-value cross-border payments around the world. It
is our ambition to extend this service to include other regions, countries
and currencies.”

“This service allows U.S. Bank to expand the international payment
options available to its customers for low-value payments to an initial 22
countries in Europe while also allowing us to leverage our investment in
SinglePointTM and the International Payments Framework Association (IPFA),”
said Jeff Jones, executive vice president for Global Treasury Management
Services at U.S. Bank. “We see this as a stepping stone to fulfilling our
vision of simplifying these types of payments to a broader set of countries
around the globe.”

The Financial Services Policy Committee

The Financial Services Policy Committee (FSPC) is responsible for the
overall direction of financial services and related support functions for the
Federal Reserve Banks, as well as for providing Federal Reserve leadership in
dealing with the evolving U.S. payments system. The FSPC is composed of three
Reserve Bank presidents and two Reserve Bank first vice presidents.

FedACH(R) Services

The Federal Reserve Banks are collectively the largest ACH operator in
the United States, with almost 40 years of experience and ACH expertise. The
Federal Reserve Banks provide reliable, high-quality and cost-effective ACH
services to financial institutions across the country. Serving more than
21,000 ACH participants, the Federal Reserve Banks’ dependability and
commitment to service enable depository financial institutions to provide
high-quality ACH services. For more information regarding FedACH Services or
other Federal Reserve Financial Services, please visit FRBservices.org.

Equens

Equens SE is the first truly pan-European, full-service payment
processor. As one of the largest and most innovative payment processors in
Europe, Equens is leading the market for future-proof payments and card
processing solutions. Thanks to an extensive and competitive service
portfolio and a flexible, customer-orientated approach, the company
seamlessly meets the requirements of the European payments market. With an
annual processing volume of 9.4 billion payments and 3.4 billion POS and ATM
transactions, Equens has a market share of more than 15 percent within the
eurozone. Equens has offices in four countries – the Netherlands, Germany,
Italy and Finland – and provides pan-European market coverage through
services to clients in eight European countries. For additional information
on Equens, please visit http://www.equens.com.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $291 billion in assets as of September 30,
2010
, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank
in the United States. The company operates 3,013 banking offices in 24 states
and 5,323 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage,
insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to
consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at
usbank.com.

DZ BANK

DZ BANK is the fifth largest bank in Germany and the central institution
for more than 900 German cooperative banks (Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken)
and their 12,000 branch offices. Within the cooperative financial services
network, which is one of Germany’s largest private-sector financial services
organizations, DZ BANK AG functions both as a central institution and as a
corporate and investment bank. DZ BANK coordinates the efforts of the
cooperative sector’s comprehensive range of specialized services in order to
achieve synergies and grow market potential for the benefit of the local
cooperative banks. The DZ BANK Group includes Bausparkasse Schwabisch Hall- a
building society, DG HYP – Commercial Real Estate Finance, DZ BANK
International, DZ PRIVATBANK Schweiz, R+V Versicherung – an insurance
company, TeamBank – consumer finance, Union Investment Group – asset
management, VR LEASING, and various other specialized institutions. For
additional information on DZ BANK, please visit http://www.dzbank.com.

“FedACH” and “FedGlobal” are registered service marks of the Federal
Reserve Banks.

SOURCE Federal Reserve Banks and Equens


Source: newswire



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