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Use Your Time Wisely: Final Steps Towards SEPA

An Executive Interview with Simon Jones, Head of Corporate Sales, EMEA at J.P. Morgan Treasury Services

In the Executive Interview this month, Simon Jones, Head of Corporate Sales, EMEA at J.P. Morgan Treasury Services, talks to Helen Sanders, Editor, about how treasurers and finance managers should be focusing their attention during the final few months before the SEPA migration end date in February 2014.

Based on your experiences, how far have corporate customers progressed in their SEPA migration plans so far?

By and large almost all the large corporations that we deal with have started their SEPA migration project. Although they are in different stages in their migration plans, the majority are aiming to achieve SEPA compliance by Oct-Nov 2013. This is also reflected in the ECB payment statistics which currently (ECB, May 2013) show that ~44% of EUR ACH Credit Transfers are SEPA payments.

However, progress on the SEPA Direct Debit front has been less promising so far and the corresponding statistics currently stand at only ~2.65%. We expect these volumes to go up later in the year when the consumer-facing companies that have large volumes of direct debits such as insurance, utilities and telecoms become SEPA compliant.

Payroll continues to be an area our clients are leaving to the latter stages to convert and this is a concern. One of the key criteria is that a number of payroll providers still need to convert their systems to support their customers on their SEPA projects. We believe much progress will be made in the industry in the next few months.