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Founded in Edinburgh in 1825, The Standard Life Group is now one of the largest financial services groups in the UK.
The Group's principal activities consist of the provision of life assurance and pensions, investment management, banking and healthcare insurance products. Standard Life has a significant position in the UK life assurance and pensions market with a market share of 8.4% in 2005 in terms of new business annual premium equivalent.
The payment processing requirement
Standard Life processes around 1.5 million payments each week. In the past, the company transmitted these to Bacs via dial-up, a slow process that was prone to failure due to line breaks. Keen to migrate to the Bacstel-IP platform well ahead of the December 2005 deadline, Standard Life sought an automated payments processing system that could be used as a standalone ‘black box'.
Although this was not a complex requirement, Standard Life experienced several problems with the first solutions provider they selected who attempted to develop a customised system over a six month period. When this failed to achieve the specified objectives, Standard Life sought another supplier.
By now the organisation was in the late stages of migration to Bacstel-IP and it was becoming critical for them to find an alternative solution ahead of the fast approaching deadline. Following a recommendation from their sponsoring bank, Standard Life selected Experian Payments as their Bacstel-IP supplier.
The Experian solution
Experian's solution was Experian Payments Gateway, an off-the-shelf, flexible enterprise payments system that was able to run on Standard Life's Intel platform and meet their processing requirements with no customisation. Installation and configuration took just half a day and the whole project was completed within four weeks, exceeding Standard Life's expectations and complying with the Bacstel-IP deadline.
Working with Experian
"Having tried and failed to find a payments solution for several months, we needed Experian to deliver what they promised. They did not disappoint, impressing us at every stage of the project with their knowledge and approach. Their pre-sales consultancy was extremely useful and their ability to answer detailed questions was critical. We were pleased and relieved that they could provide a ready-made solution.
"Whether on-site or over the phone, Experian's implementation support staff were knowledgeable, helpful, and readily available. They could not be faulted. Configuration proved simple and easy to perform and application setup was achieved in a matter of hours.
"We were also impressed by the post implementation support on this project - Experian responded to all our queries, large or small, quickly and efficiently. Several months on, Experian Payments Gateway is stable, performs well and is easy to maintain.
"By implementing Experian Payments Gateway we have achieved faster transmissions, with fewer failures, and more efficient reporting. What was once a slow, unreliable process requiring user intervention is now quite straightforward. Ultimately, it means we have been able to reduce our turnaround times and improve our service - all of which is good news for our customers."
Senior IT Architect
Standard Life Assurance