LONDON, July 23 -- Albany Software,, a pioneering
developer of electronic payment software solutions for direct Bacs payments,
today announces it is the first company to submit a payment via the new UK
Faster Payments Service Direct Corporate Access system by making a donation to
the Barclays supported charity, Practical Action.

The Faster Payments Service (FPS) is the first new payment system to be
introduced in the UK for 20 years and enables the near real-time transfer of
funds, an alternative to the current three-day direct Bacs payments service. The
Faster Payments Service was introduced mainly for consumer banking in May 2008
and recently celebrated a successful first year in operation .

Direct Corporate Access (DCA) to the Faster Payments Service facilitates the
same speedy and cost effective funds transfers, but this time for the business
world allowing it to send direct Bacs payments type files of hundreds of
transactions on the same day at a fraction of the cost of the current CHAPS
service. Missing direct Bacs payments’ deadlines will soon become a thing
of the past as emergency payments to staff or suppliers will be able to be made
almost instantaneously. Barclays will be the first bank to initiate a full
roll-out of the service in the next couple of weeks and other banks may follow
suit in the coming months .

Adrian Stafford-Jones, Managing Director of Albany Software, comments, Direct
Corporate Access to the Faster Payments Service will enable greater flexibility
in payment options. Customers can be refunded immediately and
’just-in-time’ supplier payments encourage discounts, ensuring that
businesses avoid late payment interest charges and strategic relationships
remain solid. For the payer, cash flow can be improved by the retention of cash
in the business until the last moment possible.

He continues, In a payroll environment, Direct Corporate Access enables
businesses to better cater for temporary staff time sheets and assists them when
facing various payroll challenges, such as overtime, expenses, new starters,
late leavers and salary adjustments. Indirect users can also submit payments via
a registered Barclays sponsored bureau if they are a Barclays customer. In
addition, Direct Corporate Access is a less resource intensive service than
CHAPS as it eliminates the manual form filling.

Becoming the first company to submit a payment via Direct Corporate Access is
Albany’s second first, as its groundbreaking new payment software, Albany
ePAY, was recognised as being the first in the industry to go through testing
for FP, making Albany the first FP approved supplier, proving that the company
exists with its finger constantly on the pulse .

Albany ePAY has been developed as the company’s
flagship product and will eventually take over from its highly successful ALBACS
portfolio for direct Bacs payments. The solution has already received an
extremely positive response from both prospective and existing customers alike
since its release to the market and will enable a multitude of funds transfer

Stafford-Jones concludes, Historically, Albany Software has always led the way
in terms of new payment technology for direct Bacs payments and is proud to be
the first company to introduce DCA for the Faster Payments Service. I strongly
believe the DCA initiative, coupled with our own software solution, Albany ePAY,
can arm businesses with a powerful set of tools to help improve efficiency
levels and reduce costs

About Albany Software

Albany Software, based in Alton, Hampshire, is a leading authority in the
e-business market and provides a comprehensive portfolio of strategic software
solutions designed to transform the delivery of documents, data and funds. It
has already enabled over 12,000 customers in the UK to benefit from process
automation, increased efficiency and significant cost reductions.

Albany Software is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Bacs affiliate and
Associate of The Payments Council, and works closely with Sage, Systems Union,
IRIS, Access and Intex Software to deliver integrated software solutions that
meet the needs of businesses of any type and size.

Customers include Amnesty International, BBC Worldwide, Cancer Research UK,
Colchester Borough Council, House of Fraser, Manchester Metropolitan University,
Redrow plc and Virgin Mobile.

Albany’s software portfolio includes: Albany ePAY - an intelligent
payments management solution incorporating Faster Payments - ALBACS - the market
leading Electronic Funds Transfer solution; ALBANYverify - fast, accurate
validation of UK bank account details; eVERIFY - fast, accurate validation of
BIC and IBAN numbers; eCONNECTcorporate - electronically produces and delivers a
wide range of documents in numerous formats; and eCOLLECT - the complete
collection management solution for Direct Debits.

About Practical Action

Practical Action is a development charity who, for over 40 years, have been
working closely with some of the world’s poorest people using simple
technology to fight poverty and transform their lives for the better.

Practical Action works directly in four regions of the developing world - Latin
America, East Africa, Southern Africa and South Asia, with particular
concentration on Peru, Kenya, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

In these countries, Practical Action works with poor communities to develop
appropriate technologies in food production, agroprocessing, energy, transport,
water and sanitation, shelter, climate change adaptation and disaster risk

For further information, please contact: Corinne Punter Albany Software Limited
Tel: +44(0)1420-547-620 Fax: +44(0)1420-547-621 Olivea Nixon / Krista Cundy The
itpr Partnership Tel: +44(0)1932-578-800 Fax: +44(0)1932-578-801

SOURCE: Albany Software Limited

For further information, please contact: Corinne Punter, Albany Software
Limited, Tel: +44(0)1420-547-620, Fax: +44(0)1420-547-621; Olivea Nixon / Krista
Cundy, The itpr Partnership, Tel: +44(0)1932-578-800, Fax: +44(0)1932-578-801.