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SEPA – Ready or Not?

The 2008 TMI SEPA Survey

by Helen Sanders, Editor

On 28 January 2008, the SEPA Credit Transfer went live, with a number of the larger banks issuing press releases almost immediately emphasising not only their ‘SEPA Readiness’ but announcing the first SEPA transactions. Many of the early transactions were bank-to-bank payments, not corporate-to-bank payments, so what does SEPA mean in practice for corporates?

The launch of the SEPA Credit Transfer is only the first step in a far longer process towards payment harmonisation.

The launch of the SEPA Credit Transfer is only the first step in a far longer process towards payment harmonisation. With the SEPA Direct Debit and Payments Service Directive, both huge undertakings, due for launch in November 2009 and an arduous transition process, we can expect to see the SEPA saga continuing for some years to come.

‘SEPA Ready’ and ‘SEPA Compliant’ are terms which have littered press releases and marketing literature for some time now, but with SEPA in such early stages, to what extent can corporates realistically take advantage of SEPA - and what advantages are there to be taken at such an early stage? To find out, TMI recently issued an exclusive SEPA Survey across twenty of the top banks operating in Europe to find out what SEPA capabilities banks are making available to their corporate customers today and the plans they have in place to develop these in the future.