Every treasury and finance department in Europe will be going through a period of transformation as the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) February 2014 migration deadline approaches. Banks such as Societe Generale have a major role to play in facilitating this transformation; however, as Alain Grugé, Global Head of Cash Management, Societe Generale, discusses with Helen Sanders, Editor, the bank is also undertaking an internal transformation which will enhance its ability to meet the pan-European needs of its customers.
How far has SEPA migration progressed amongst your customer base so far?
In France, we see a difference between small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger corporations. SMEs typically still have the migration process ahead of them, while nearly half of our larger customers have at least started to migrate to SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT). Although total market volumes of SCT are increasing in France, a substantial portion of this is driven by the public sector, which has now migrated high volume payments such as payroll and social security payments to SCT.
In most cases, companies have yet to actively embark on a SEPA Direct Debits (SDD) project. SDD still amounts to less than 5% of the total direct debit volume in France, so there is still a substantial journey ahead. Some companies that have large volumes of direct debits, such as telecoms and utilities, have started to plan their migration projects but these are not yet well-advanced.