The SEPA Experience: Switching to SDD
by Brian Hanrahan, EVP Sales & Marketing, Sentenial
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) has been a hot topic in the banking industry for several years now. With the launch of the Direct Debit scheme (SDD) last year and the expected announcement of an enforced end-date for domestic direct debit schemes the conversation on SEPA is now heating up for businesses of all sizes across Europe.
A few early adopters have already made the switch to SEPA and are experiencing the benefits offered by the scheme. However, deciding to migrate to the scheme and how to manage the migration is a project in itself.
ING and Sentenial, who have partnered to offer SEPA Direct Debit migration and management services to corporates across Europe, recently completed a pilot of the system with a number of customers in the Benelux region. The pilot of the system itself was very successful and as part of the process Sentenial and ING are developing a set of best practices for corporates who want to adopt the scheme. These best practices will help corporates to ensure that they are ready to make the switch — when a business is really ready SEPA adoption can be a smooth process.
The first step any business needs to take when contemplating switching to SEPA is to decide how it wants to approach the project.There are several options, including developing a bespoke solution, working with an existing supplier or working with a specialist SEPA provider.
Many businesses are moving forward with solutions offered by their ERP vendors.What is important to keep in mind is that ERP providers are specialists in ERP systems and not SEPA Direct Debit.While they may be able to deliver base functionality, businesses who adopt these types of solutions are likely to face frustrations during the adoption phase as well as on an ongoing basis when they find they have to engage in manual processes because their solution is feature-light.