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Sibos 2007 - Monday - Regeneration

In case you don’t know, the Boston Conference and Exhibition Center is located in an urban regeneration area in Boston docks within sight of the central business district. 

The one topic which seems to be unavoidable at Sibos: SEPA – it even infected the session on US payments – makes me think about how we Europeans are regenerating our payments industry in a similar way. In both cases we're dealing with a historic business which isn't quite fit for today's demands and whose business case is under pressure from external factors.

It’s fair to say that most of the legacy buildings around the convention center have been demolished to create a vision of concrete and glass promising the heights of efficiency.

But these shiny towers aren’t the whole story – large, vacant, weed-strewn lots are squeezed in between the road grid and it may well be many years before the whole area is rebuilt to the standard of the best.

It is the same with SEPA. We will inevitably have the high achievements of the SEPA data model and schemes, but in practice, there will be areas of legacy payments products which will take time to grow into products fit for the new SEPA age. And of course, all of this takes time and money, but most importantly a vision of how much better things will be when we’ve finished.

So SEPA may be just around the corner, but the regeneration of our payments landscape in Europe is just beginning.

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