Italian utility Enel connects to MyBank e-authorisation payment channel
Enel, Italy’s leading power company, has joined the MyBank cross-border electronic e-authorisation payment solution from 64 European banks, which was launched in March of this year, using the SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT) format. Run by EBA Clearing and supported by SIA technology the successful on-boarding of Enel is the first ‘go live’ of a major utility with the growing MyBank channel, which eventually hopes to rival PayPal and other mobile and online electronic payment methods by linking direct to consumers via their own participating banks.
Millions of customers of Enel Energia in Italy are now able to easily and securely pay their gas and electricity bills from Enel’s website by clicking on the MyBank button located on the MyEnel customer page website, with the move being facilitated by its banking partner UniCredit Global Transaction Banking. The single MyBank platform also enables payments, invoices and so forth to be more easily tracked by treasurers, and indeed customer-facing staff tasked with responding to consumer queries.
As Giovanni Vattani, head of payment systems at Enel Market Division in Italy, says: “MyBank provides us with real-time information about authorised payments, speeds up our reconciliation processes and reduces fraud. Besides delivering these immediate benefits, the solution holds a great potential for the future because it will soon support advanced mobile applications and the creation of MyBank SEPA-compliant direct debit (SDD) e-mandates [this services is being piloted and rolled out now: see link -Ed]. Furthermore, MyBank offers the possibility to be rolled out to all our cross-border customers all across Europe.”
The MyBank solution for initiating SCT transfers went live in March 2013 and currently has participating banks that have more than 10m consumer payment accounts. Forty-eight of the participating banks are located in Italy, a stronghold for the MyBank project, and over 300 additional Italian institutions are scheduled to join the solution before the end of 2013. Other MyBank participants are located in France and Luxembourg and the backers at SIA technology and EBA Clearing are targeting a European-wide take-up, using the SEPA 1 February 2014 compliance deadline as a convenient marketing hook allied to customer convenience, treasury tracking and enhanced security authorisation capabilities.
How It Works
MyBank enables Enel Energia customers to pay their electricity or gas bills via SEPA Credit Transfer, which they initiate through their familiar online banking environment. From the MyEnel customer pages, consumers are routed directly to their online banking portal, where, as soon as they log in, they find a filled-in form with all the payment details for approval. The connection of Enel to the MyBank solution has been put in place by UniCredit. Both Enel and UniCredit have been supported by Milan-based technology provider SIA, which has delivered validation and routing services as well as a virtual point-of-sale (PoS).
According to Barbara Sacchi, in charge of electronic e-Payments at UniCredit’s Global Transaction Banking unit, “MyBank has attracted substantial interest from our corporate customers before we have even started promoting it fully to them, thanks to the many benefits it provides to e-merchants and other e-billers.”
The on-boarding of Enel, one of Europe’s largest utilities, gives millions of consumers a practical opportunity to experience the ease-of-use of MyBank first hand, says John Broxis, a director at the operators, EBA Clearing. “As more and more banks, corporates and public administrators join in the course of the upcoming weeks and months, Italy will become the first country in Europe where MyBank is widely used. We look forward to rolling out further MyBank services to this growing user community, such as enhanced mobile functionality in December and an SDD e-mandate solution for direct debits in early 2014.”