The European Commission is in talks with member states about setting a deadline for the migration of national payment schemes to the new Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa) after a public consultation exercise showed widespread support for the move.
The decision to separate the launches of the SEPA Credit Transfers and SEPA Direct Debits schemes was taken as a result of the PSD implications, rather than this being the most efficient approach. With the infrastructures for both set to be finally in place
by the end of 2010, it would be folly to overcomplicate the process once again by splitting the conversion of domestic instruments. SEPA is about establishing a more stable and standardised payments environment and it would therefore be better to set a migation
date for both with sufficient time for the migration to be thoroughly planned
So it's established that there is widespread consensus among key stakeholders about the benefits of setting a SEPA deadline, yet many questions still remain. The report makes mention that "the EC is in talks with member states about setting a deadline" but
it is unclear what this actually means. To whom is the EC talking- politicians, regulators, financial institutions? And could it mean a different deadline in each member state?
Given the feedback from the coalition of payments systems in July that end users weren't being consulted, it seems that is still the case here. So it's very much sounding like 'here we go again' - much talk, much edging around the subject, but precious little
evidence of action.
Despite continuous discussions, agreements and consultations we are still awaiting a decision on an end date that is truly comprehensive and definitive. Would someone please get on with this before we all lose interest?
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