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SA Banks Score a First with Nationwide e-Billing and Payment Service

LONDON and JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, January 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

BankservAfrica, Africa's largest automated clearing house and ebpSource, a leading global electronic bill presentment and payment solution provider are rolling out South Africa's first bank-based electronic billing and payment service.  The new service is being introduced to consumers through connected online banks.

BankservAfrica manages the electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) service on behalf of the South African commercial banks, with support and domain expertise from ebpSource. Nedbank Ltd and a number of large billers are already live on the service.

By consolidating a range of consumer bills in one place, the BankservAfrica offering enables banks to provide their retail customers with a revolutionary way to manage, view and pay their bills from the security and convenience of their trusted online bank, as well as other connected channels. Instead of having to handle dozens of bills arriving separately each month, the eBilling portal enables consumers to view, query and pay everything at one time, from one place, with a single log-in.

Martin Grunewald, CEO of BankservAfrica's business process outsourcing unit, says "With a focus on massively improved bill delivery and payment efficiency BankservAfrica's eBilling service also offers compelling benefits to South Africa's billing companies: from Government and telecoms, to financial services, utilities and retail, plus a range of other business sectors signing up to deliver their bills through the service.

"Consolidated billing and payment improves customer service and removes the need to print and deliver paper bills. It also enables billers to take advantage of the banks' ability to provide a secure end-to-end process for bill viewing to payment, clearing and settlement and even online document storage".  

Two of the largest municipalities in South Africa have already connected to the service, for the delivery of local taxes and charges, with the imminent launch of a range of retail billers via Nedbank. Initially BankservAfrica is making the service available to consumers via the participating banks, with plans to address the needs of corporates and business users at a later stage.

Mr Grunewald: "This new service is a logical extension to our role as the country's central payment processor. In developing South Africa's first bank-based consolidated billing and payment platform, we are providing a strategic and valuable service to our banks, a vast network of biller organisations, and to the local community as a whole. The technology provided by ebpSource and the team's knowledge-base give us the core infrastructure to quickly integrate new billers and banks. As the service grows it will mean less paper, less printing, more efficient payments, less manual processing, better service and all-round more convenience for customers, banks and billers alike."

Adriaan du Plessis, Executive Head of Transactional Banking at Nedbank indicated that: "Despite this service being in the introductory phase, Nedbank as first-mover, has received positive feedback from the market." He added: "This service offers fully reconciled payments via the security of the bank's channels, adding value to any business wishing to expand on the payment mechanisms that it offers its customers and wanting to improve on its operational efficiencies."

Steve Wright, EVP of Commercial Operations at ebpSource, adds:  "BankservAfrica's eBilling and payment service is the most advanced initiative of its kind in Africa at present and the team is extremely proud to be a part of such a ground-breaking new offering.  Being heavily involved in such positive change projects at a countrywide level is something ebpSource specialises in. We very much look forward to South Africa seeing the same levels of adoption, success and worldwide recognition as other similar national payment-led initiatives of this kind."

Editors' Note:

About BankservAfrica (http://www.bankservafrica.com)

Located in Johannesburg and founded over forty years ago, BankservAfrica is wholly owned by South Africa's leading commercial banks. As the country's main automated clearing house operating both nationally and across Africa, the organisation processes billions of transactions annually, valued at trillions of South African rands. Clients include banks, corporates, government and the retail sector.

About ebpSource (http://www.ebpsource.com)

The most experienced team in the international electronic billing and payment industry, ebpSource delivers software solutions, consultancy and support to global billers, banks and payment processors. The team has unparalleled knowledge in the establishment of highly successful multi-channel e-billing and payment infrastructures, working closely with central banks, national payment processors, tier-1 financial services and telecommunications billers. A true strategic partner, ebpSource designs, deploys, develops, integrates and supports some of the largest and highest-adoption services of this kind globally.

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