What corporates must do
Much of the detail involved in the Single Euro Payment Area is only of interest to banks and, provided a corporate’s banking provider is on top of the situation, it should be fairly straightforward. As Anne Boden, head of transaction banking Europe for ABN Amro, notes: "Sepa is now the de facto future standard so all RFPs are based on Sepa pricing and solutions." So banks that are not being proactive in advocating Sepa solutions can expect to lose business when a corporate’s cash management mandate comes up for renewal.
The main challenge for corporates is the collection and use of International Bank Account Numbers (Ibans) and Bank Identifier Codes (BICs) data, which are used for Sepa Credit Transfer (SCT) and Sepa Direct Debit (SDD). In practice, this involves corporates working with their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems provider to add the required fields and ensure that they are used correctly. In the case of SDD, re-mandating by the consumer might be necessary, although in some countries it might be possible simply to switch existing mandates.