Less than half of euro-zone banks are planning their product and market strategy beyond the first single euro payments area (Sepa) deadline in 2008, according to research commissioned by LogicaCMG.
A recent survey of 101 retail banks by Coleman Parkes Research found that although 64% of banks see Sepa as an opportunity, fewer than half (48%) are looking at product and market strategy post-2008. Only 37% have a strategy to exploit Sepa.
Planning is also being hindered by organisational complexity, with 63% saying that a lack of coordination across the business will cause real problems for Sepa implementation. Nearly a quarter of banks (23%) are also considering outsourcing payment processing.
The research reveals a lack of planning for the migration of national payments to Sepa instruments within the banks. Less than a third (30%) have a full plan in place and in operation for the migration of clients. Over three quarters of banks (76%) admit that they are just doing the minimum to meet 2008 requirements.
Despite this, 28% of the sample stated that their Sepa implementation is totally aligned to the needs of the European Commission's Payment Services Directive, and a further 13% said that it is closely aligned. A further 31 per cent are setting plans to align Sepa to the Directive in the short term.
"With banks openly admitting that they are doing the minimum to meet the 2008 requirements there is a clear indication that the first deadline is currently detrimental to the overall implementation of Sepa," says Jerry Norton, director strategy, global financial services at LogicaCMG.