Voca and LINK get green light from OFT to merge
The Office of Fair Trading gives approval for Voca and LINK to join forces
VocaLINK to be one of Europe’s leading payment companies
Banks and their customers to benefit from partnership and innovative services
Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) services strengthened
London, 3 May 2007: The companies behind the Faster Payments initiative, Voca and LINK were today given formal approval by the Office of Fair Trading to merge. The new merged group will be known as VocaLINK.
The combined group will form one of the leading payments processors in Europe, with a forecast volume of over 8 billion transactions this year. The merger will enable VocaLINK to compete more effectively on a pan-European scale in readiness for the advent of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in 2008.
The two companies both have strong, established heritages. Since its inception in 1968, Voca has processed more than 60 billion transactions and is recognised as the largest processor of direct debits and credit transfers in Europe. LINK has operated one of the busiest and most efficient ATM networks in the world for over 20 years. It connects 130 million card accounts and 63,000 ATMs, and last year processed and settled over 2.9 billion transactions.
The new group will offer a broad range of services for both cash machines and automated payments, providing extensive reach across Europe for SEPA transactions. VocaLINK will also deliver real-time solutions such as the Faster Payments initiative in the UK and use its increasing network of partners to offer enhanced online and mobile services that will give customers and consumers greater choice and flexibility.
The current Voca Chief Executive, Marion King, will be VocaLINK’s new Chief Executive. Commenting on this opportunity she said:
“I am delighted the OFT have approved the merger and we can now progress with plans to bring the businesses together. Voca and LINK are already working closely on the UK’s Faster Payments initiative and the operational and intellectual synergies between the two companies have always been clear. The unified company will offer an increased portfolio of innovative products and services to the payments industry”.
Under the terms of the merger, which is still subject to Court approval, VocaLINK will be managed through a new board including independent non-executives. Peter Presland, LINK’s current chairman, will assume the role of non-executive chairman and brings a wealth of experience in non-executive roles.
Anne-Marie Kesselman, Voca
0870 920 8622 or Anne-Marie.Kesselman@voca.com
Terence Gibbons, College Hill
020 7457 2020 or email@example.com
Notes To Editors
Voca is the provider of payment services to banks and corporates. Responsible for the technology behind the UK’s automated payments, Voca has processed 60 billion transactions in the last 39 years. Voca is committed to and is actively supporting the introduction of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Its payment solutions are already well developed to meet the demands of this pan-European programme.
- Voca processes more than 90% of UK salaries, 70% of household bills and the majorityof state benefits.
- Voca is recognised as the largest processor of direct debits and credit transfers in Europe, processing 15% of all European bank-to-bank payments.
- During 2006, more than 5.4 billion financial transactions were securely processed, reaching a peak of 80 million transactions on a single day in September 2006.
- More than 100,000 businesses connect to the Voca network, including all of the FTSE 100.
- Voca has four highly innovative payment services – OneVu (online billing), Digital Payments (mobile payments), Immediate Payments (faster payments) and Payport (international remittances).
Please visit www.voca.com for more information
LINK processes 2.9 billion ATM transactions per annum. It is the operator of the UK cashmachine network, one of the world’s busiest, connecting 130 million card accounts and over 63,000 ATMs.
LINK is focussed on delivering Europe-wide services for domestic card products to meet the SEPA vision for ATMs. It founded the European Switches Forum, an association that encourages interoperability between domestic ATM and point-of-sale processors. LINK has also established a reciprocal link with a processor in the US.
- LINK has diversified its service range and customer base through innovative
technology and commercial relationships - spanning the financial services, retail, telecommunications and public sectors.
- Avantra, the outsourcing division of LINK, is a leader in ATM outsourcing services. It serves a diverse number of payment channels including ATM, card and point-of-sale.
- LINK’s mobile phone top-up service leverages LINK’s switching infrastructure to
provide pre-pay account top-up via cash machines. It processes over 15 million top-up transactions annually.
- MONILINK™, a joint venture with Monitise, provides retail bank customers with realtime access to their accounts via their mobile handsets. It has received international recognition at the World Economic Forum, Davos.
Please visit www.link.co.uk for more information