Insurer’s migration to SEPA compliant transactions is achieved quickly and
painlessly using a Software as a Service delivery model from Sopra Steria
A leading French insurance broker sought to ensure its
information system was ready to provide transactions
compliant with European payment standard SEPA.
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) became effective
on 1 February 2014, at which time companies had to be
compliant. SEPA aims to standardise payment systems
within and across Euro-zone countries by providing the
same rights and obligations from country to country.
SEPA is harmonising and simplifying payment systems
within the Euro area to provide a common legal
framework for bank customers making electronic
Euro payments. All companies, without exception, are
affected by the core SEPA Direct Debit scheme and had
to speed up the developments of their information
systems to be SEPA compliant by the target date.
Determined to meet the compliance deadline, a
leading French insurance broker entrusted Sopra
Steria to set up the necessary tools and procedures
for a wholly SEPA compliant information system (IS).
Sopra Steria is a trusted transformation partner whose
products and services are used by insurance companies
across Europe. At the forefront of the payments sector
for more than 25 years, Sopra Steria provided its client
with the relevant SEPA and IS expertise to support
migration to compliant processes and systems
- One of the first French companies
to be wholly SEPA compliant
- 1.2 million mandates in SEPA form; about
10 million direct debit transactions
processed in Software as a Service mode
- Compliance achieved in less than a year
Sopra Steria offered the French insurer three
delivery models for its SEPA compliance
project: outsourced, integrated with the
company’s own systems, and Software as
a Service (SaaS). The insurer opted for the
SaaS model covering its compliance project,
mandate and direct debits management.
SaaS for SEPA from Sopra Steria is delivered
as an outsourced solution allowing the
migration to SEPA standards of all payment
instruments. It also encompasses the
management of mandates (dematerialisation,
transmission, paper and/or digital storage
format depending on a customer’s
preferences) and ensures compliant exchange
between banks and their customers.
How we worked together
With expertise in payment instruments and SEPA
regulation, the Sopra Steria team went beyond purely the
functional scope and integration aspects of this compliance
project to play an important advisory role as well.
From the outset, the roll-out demanded significant input from the
client’s information systems (IS) team working alongside Sopra
Steria. Several workshops were conducted by both operational
and decision-making members of the joint project team. These
helped to identify all the affected processes and any potential
changes required to these and to the information system.
During the workshops Sopra Steria focused on the functional
scope of the solution’s integration with the insurer’s systems
and those of its subsidiaries. This covered the definition of
the architecture and the harmonisation of interfaces.
The solution became operational in time for the SEPA compliance
deadline. The insurer is able to send SEPA compliant direct debits
for the group, including its subsidiaries, and for its clients.
Results and benefits
With the support and expertise of the Sopra Steria team, the insurer
has optimised the communication and interaction between the
different applications being used within its information system.
The project enabled the company to take charge of its mandates
management – initially dedicated to the banks – and ensure
seamless exchanges with its several banking partners.
Sopra Steria’s banking and insurance expertise, specifically
in payments, combined with a high level of consulting, meant
that the insurer achieved compliance in less than a year.