27 October 2016


Retired Member

1,977Posts 6,442,572Views 2,312Comments
Finextra community

Payments strategies 2015-2020-2030

Payments systems visions, strategies, trends, pilots, forecasting, and planning for the short-, medium-, and far-term.

Direct debit and multicultural project management.

23 May 2011  |  4054 views  |  1

Some years ago I was in charge of Nordic payment project, where we suppose to build a common interface for Nordic online bank. For several years that project was stuck, because a lot of misunderstandings. When it was my time to lead a project, it took me some months until noticed what is wrong.

In the project group there were four members from four Nordic countries. We all used english as our common project language. But as it is not our native language, we translated everything in our heads to our local native language. When I was talking in english about payment, I meant every money transaction from e-invoice to direct debit as a process where money transfer from one account to another. To one of my member payment means transaction from company to company or from individual to company. To him p2p payment was own transaction. One member said that they have so many domestic payment forms and I have to always specify what I mean with word payment. So it was chaos. Until I bought a Oxford dictionary of banking to all members of project and started to insist to use only those words. After that we got huge progress.

How this is linked to SEPA Direct Debit project? I assume there are same language problems. It is not only SEPA but all EU work is full of misunderstandings. As long as project members always reflect their languages to their native ones and reflect their own experience to the services that used to use, there won't be a progress.



Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 25 May, 2011, 14:32

It'd appear that EU has done very well so far in establishing a single economic area and currency despite countries so close by but languages so far apart; multiple languages in a single, relatively small country (e.g. Belgium), and so on. And all this without taking the easier way out of adopting English as the common business language. Agreed that there could now be challenges for achieving further progress going forward. Kudos for pointing out the role of language and culture as critical success factors. It's a refreshing change from the common approach of sweeping such differences under the carpet as "soft factors".

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Comment on this story (membership required)

Latest posts from Retired

Fintech innovation in the B2B space has only just begun

12 September 2016  |  11814 views  |  1 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsPaymentsInnovation

Protecting Data with DLP

23 August 2016  |  5061 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsSecurityBrexit

How to end what ails online commerce

22 August 2016  |  4608 views  |  2 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsPaymentsTransaction banking

What internet retailers need to know about Google’s recent webspam report

08 August 2016  |  8297 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsPayments

Modelling fixed income: Why realtime analytics are key

29 July 2016  |  5283 views  |  0 comments | recomends Recommends 0 TagsPost-trade & ops

Retired's profile

job title
member since 2014
Summary profile See full profile »

Retired's expertise

What Retired reads
Retired writes about

Who's commenting on Retired's posts

Hardeep Singh
Ketharaman Swaminathan
Graham Seel
Gerard Hergenroeder
Konstantin Rabin
Matt Schofield
Anna Robert
Ian Davis
Steve Patel
Aparty Behera
Karim Maalouf