A NORTH-EAST based technology company has become the first firm in nine years to have its software approved for secure online payments by UK banks.

Unified Software has been given approved software supplier status by Bacs, the organisation overseeing the UK bank clearing network, for a new product making direct debit and Bacs payment processing more affordable for smaller ventures by using a pay-per-use system.

The Sunderland firm already supplies software used by BT, Tesco, JP Morgan Chase and Moneysupermarket.com.

Unified Software’s managing director, George Barron, said: “Approval by Bacs and the UK Payments Council puts us in the premier league of financial software suppliers.

“We’ve been working on this project for quite some time now and are very proud of the product we have developed.

“Achieving Bacs Approved Software Supplier status is a major milestone for us as it gives us access to a much larger market.”

Unified Software has been working with Sunderland Software City (SSC), a support body for the region’s software industry.

SSC chief executive Bernie Callaghan said: “Becoming the first company in almost a decade to have their software approved by the UK banking industry this way is tremendous news both for Unified and for the whole North-East software industry.

“It’s a clear sign that software developed in the North- East is recognised as among the very finest on offer.”