The European Payments Council has called on EU authorities to initiate a Sepa communications campaign "comparable to that afforded for the euro introduction" to kick start public support for the Single Euro Payments Area project.
A call for more political support is hardly surprising given everything the EU does has its basis in politics rather than economics. This is why the Market alone cannot make SEPA work. Let's face it, as long as only 2-5% of payments are cross-boarder, the
demand for SEPA will not result in the replacement of domestic payment instruments. Unless the politicians dictate that domestic payment systems be switched off? Are any of them that stupid? As a European citizen, I would rather my politicians deal with rather
more important issues - and there are plenty of such issues that rank ahead of "encouraging" national governments to spend tax payers money on changing public sector payments methods.
Support by the public sector for SEPA is definitely going to help drive the adoption rates of the SEPA instruments - Belgium being a good example. An end date might help too, certainly for Credit Transfers.
However, there is also adoption by multi-national companies operating in various SEPA countries. They have done so because SEPA is a facilitator to centralize their cash and treasury management operations in Shared Service Centers across Europe. It helps
them to decrease the number of EUR bank accounts and build standard processes around payments (and collections once SDD will be implemented) backed by central IT platforms. The business case for them is not SEPA; it is best finance practices: centralize and
standardize what you can. Please read more on the SunGard 'What Happens Next Blog' at http://www4.sungard.com/blogs/cityday/
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