‘The big difficulty we had was finding the best software solution for us’
Voxpro exports multilingual customer and technical support
‘The biggest fear was that we would find ourselves looking at computer screens that simply said, ‘No’: Dan Murphy, chief financial officer, Voxpro
The company has a large dependence on a fully functioning electronic payments infrastructure. It pays wages to more than 400 employees, and pays more than 50 suppliers using electronic wire transfer or direct debit. More importantly, Voxpro receives electronic payments from 250 clients.
It was clear to Voxpro that the company could not ignore SEPA. In quarter three of last year, it began to look at SEPA to see what steps it needed to take in order to become compliant.
“The biggest fear,” says Dan Murphy, chief financial officer at Voxpro, “ was that after migration to compliance, that come the next payday we would find ourselves looking at computer screens that simply said, ‘No.’
“The big difficulty we had was identifying the best software solution for us to upgrade our bank files into a SEPA- compliant format. We had very little direction from the bank as to what systems were proving to be the best solutions adopted by other companies.
“We ended up using an application that sits on top of our existing system, catches the files before they are sent to the bank, reformats the files into a SEPA-compliant format and then sends the files to the bank.
“We found we had to make early contact with the bank’s dedicated SEPA team to book a migration date that suited us.
“Once we installed our software solution, we then interacted with them again so they could ensure our test files were SEPA compliant and fit for purpose before we migrated across to it,” said Murphy
According to Murphy submission times also proved to be a complicating factor to negotiate. “Any new direct-debit mandate will still take six days for the first time and then three days each time thereafter. This six-day requirement impacted our cashflows as it pushed out most of our monthly cash receipts by three days, thus placing it after our payroll date.
“Any struggling SME might need to speak with their bank if this six-day delay ends up putting them outside their agreed facilities. It may influence the suitable date of their migration to SEPA, ie not in a vat-paying month.”