The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

The Sepa revolution quietly creeps in

Unprecedented co-operation between European banks has, at last, created a single euro payments area. It will transform the cash management business and possibly the whole banking industry. Laurence Neville reports.

What does Sepa involve?

Sepa and the PSD: a brief history

What corporates must do

ON JANUARY 28, 2008, the Single Euro Payments Area became a reality. No flags were waved, no confetti was thrown and no Euro-anthems were played. This effort to harmonize national payment systems – seen by some as the culmination of the introduction of the euro and the final stage in the creation of a true single market – debuted without anyone outside the cash management industry even noticing.

Why the deafening silence on such a momentous occasion? To be sure, Sepa has nothing like the popular impact or appeal of the introduction of the euro, which might have contributed to keeping it off the front pages. Perhaps more important, Sepa – although a bank-led initiative – has got bogged down in European Union inertia, resulting in its introduction being staggered, and therefore lessening its impact.

But what about banks, which are at the heart of Sepa? Shouldn’t they be cheerleading its introduction? In truth, an embarrassed hush seems to have descended on some of the leading cash management banks operating in Europe.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree