UTRECHT, The Netherlands, February 19 /PRNewswire/ --

- SEB Ready for the Next Phase of SEPA

Equens, one of Europe's largest payment processors, will start processing all the SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) transactions of the SEB Group (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB) in Europe with the Europe-wide start of SDD in November 2009. SEB is one of Northern Europe's leading financial groups and has affiliates in eleven European countries. By outsourcing the processing of its SDD transactions to Equens, SEB - due to its global European presence - chose an efficient, pan-European and future-proof payment processing solution. The foothold gained in Sweden is a next step in the continued expansion of Equens' position throughout Europe. Equens is already processing payments in eight European countries. The parties signed the agreement last Friday.

Both the SEB Group and Equens pursue a clear strategy, focused on European coverage and growth. Edwin Echl, Global Head of Payments Operations at the SEB Group: Equens has a strong presence in the European market. This, combined with its pan-European market coverage, were our main reasons for choosing them. Outsourcing the processing of SDD payments is one of the first steps in our strategy to centralise the payment services of the entire SEB group.

Welcoming the SEB group as a new client further strengthens Equens' European market position. Equens currently has offices in four countries, clients in eight countries, and already provides substantial reach throughout Europe. Michael Steinbach, Chairman of Equens' Board of Directors: Equens is delighted to become SEB's partner for the processing of their SDD transactions as of November 2009. We are convinced that this is the beginning of a powerful partnership that will benefit both Equens and SEB, as well as our clients.

SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) is one of the three major products of SEPA, the Single Euro Payments Area that was established on 28 January 2008 with the implementation of the SCT (SEPA Credit Transfer) and the SEPA Cards Framework. SDD provides a common standard for direct debit transactions in the SEPA countries. These transactions are currently processed with different national schemes like 'Direct Debit' (United Kingdom), 'Lastschrift' (Germany) or 'Incasso' (the Netherlands).

Editorial note

About Equens

Equens SE is the first truly pan-European, full-service payment processor. As one of the largest and most innovative payment processors in Europe, Equens is leading the market for future-proof payments and card processing solutions. Thanks to an extensive and competitive service portfolio and a flexible, customer-orientated approach, the company seamlessly meets the requirements of the European payments market. With an annual processing volume of 7.9 billion payments and 2.2 billion POS and ATM transactions, Equens has a market share of more than 15% within the eurozone. Equens has offices in four countries - the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Finland - and provides pan-European market coverage through services to clients in eight European countries.

For additional information on Equens, please visit http://www.equens.com

For additional information on SEB, please visit http://www.seb.se.

Annemieke Lambregts, +31(0)30-283-50-27, +31(0)650-21-30-91; Jorg Richter, +49(0)69-589993-60362, +49(0)172-6139597