Banks braced for Sepa challenge

Banks braced for Sepa challenge

The introduction of the Single European Payments Area (Sepa) has risen to the top of the agenda for payments professionals, says UK automated clearing house tech outfit Voca, with integration and delivery issues uppermost in participant's minds.

Voca charted rising interest in Sepa in responses to a survey of 86 banks and vendors conducted at the international Swift conference in Copenhagen in September. In all, two-thirds of respondents ranked Sepa delivery in 2010 as critical or very important, with integration and cost/benefit issues identified as key challenges.

Sepa's role in uniting Europe and promoting its competitiveness were widely referenced by respondents who generally view the single payments area as an inevitability that will ultimately bring significant benefits to banks and customers.

Marion King, CEO, Voca, comments: "It's great to see a clear appreciation of Sepa's benefits and the need for action now. Responses also show that the role common standards and volume consolidation play in delivering a successful Sepa are recognised."

On other payment-related issues, 21% cited dealing with new regulation as their single biggest management challenge, while payments security, including business continuity and fraud prevention, achieved the highest 'critical' rating among respondents at 39%.

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