The Treasurer’s Voice: SEPA Migration
by Helen Sanders, Editor
We have been very fortunate in this edition of TMI to have interviewed Gerard Hartsink, outgoing Chairman of the European Payments Council (EPC) on his hopes and fears for SEPA, as well as featuring a case study from early adopter, Electricité de France. To complement these important features, in this month’s Treasurer’s Voice, which features responses from over 100 corporations, we find out about how much progress companies have made towards SEPA adoption, some of the obstacles that may remain, and companies’ actual or anticipated outcomes.
1. Progress towards SCT migration
Eighteen per cent of respondents indicated that SEPA was not applicable to their organisation (figure 1); however, on further analysis of the results, this was actually only the case for 7.2% of respondents, showing that there is still a substantial proportion of companies that remain blissfully unaware of SEPA and its implications. As Willem Dokkum, Global Head of Sales, Payment & Cash Management, ING, emphasises,
“There is evidently still a strong need to educate companies about SEPA, not only European companies, but US and Asian companies with a European presence.”
Furthermore, while we expected that these respondents might represent small and medium-sized enterprises, this was not necessarily the case. The remainder of the results are approximately what we would expect, with 51% of companies having either implemented SCT for some of their euro flows, or made plans but have not yet started migration. Sixteen per cent have implemented SCT fully, while an uncomfortable 15% have yet not started making plans. As the cover story in this edition of TMI emphasises, as does EDF’s case study and the interview with Gerard Hartsink, there is now no time to lose and companies must either seek more information on SEPA if they are unaware of the implications, or start making their migration plans.