Banks start to show their hands on Sepa
The Single Euro Payment Area (Sepa) has been the subject of endless articles and conferences over the past few years. Yet to date, European corporates have remained notably sceptical about it, not least because of uncertainty about implementation dates and details.
"We believe that Sepa is a significant opportunity for the bank to increase its share of a client’s wallet and ultimately to win new clients"
In addition, there has long been a perception among companies that Sepa is principally a concern for banks or, at best, simply a compliance issue. Meanwhile, banks, although eager to be seen to be leading Sepa initiatives, have been reticent about what the payments system will mean for their product offerings. Now Sepa – or at least parts of it – is about to become a reality, with the credit transfer scheme launching on January 28, 2008 and the direct debit scheme a year later. With this in mind, banks have finally begun to reveal the approaches they are adopting.