A survey by my company -
ACI Worldwide - at Sibos found that 78 percent of those delegates questioned who expressed an opinion ‘strongly agree' or ‘agree' that the migration to SEPA instruments has been disappointing to date. In addition, 46 percent of respondents feel there is
nothing more that the banking industry's self regulation of SEPA can deliver and they overwhelmingly believe that the time is right for SWIFT to play a role in reversing the present situation.
The fact is that SEPA started as a framework to benefit corporates and consumers but has morphed into an interbank framework that has been moulded primarily by the banks. It's not surprising therefore that SEPA migration has been considered disappointing
to date. However, I do agree with the majority of Sibos delegates that as an ‘external' body, SWIFT could help make SEPA a more attractive proposition for corporates. SWIFT could have an important role to play in helping the banking industry formulate a business
case for corporates' SEPA migration. Such an approach would also help avoid the ‘mini-SEPA' dreaded by the regulators, where significant regional or country-specific variations exist. It might also just achieve one of the other items on the ECB's wish list:
more innovation in payment systems spurred on by SEPA. Surely the potential gains make the effort worthwhile?