As we approach the mid point of the year, it’s obvious that, despite the many and varied calls for an end date for the use of legacy payment instruments, procrastination is the order of the day, and the European payments industry stumbles on towards some
indeterminate SEPA goal.
The take up of SEPA Credit Transfers remains low, and though reachability for SEPA Direct Debits is due to be achieved in November this year, that is only for the core service – it remains voluntary for B2B.
At this rate, the SEPA instruments will continue to be the sideshow, and an expensive one at that. Banks still have to operate legacy and SEPA systems, and will have to for some time to come.
There has been a plea for public authorities to embrace SEPA and its instruments, with the implication that this would provide the boost needed to establish the momentum towards a true SEPA. But in that scenario, the banks remain reactive.
Many banks have seen the light and have positioned themselves for the future of payments in Europe. They have taken a lead role. Perhaps the time has come for other banks to acknowledge that they really don’t have the will to meet their SEPA obligations
in full, and outsource to those banks or institutions that have the vision and are ready for SEPA now. Crunch time approaches...