A survey about Europe's changing payments landscape conducted by Accenture in 2006 has revealed that the single euro payments area (Sepa) is costing Europe's banks significantly more than expected. The survey also shows that only 37% of platforms will be fully and independently Sepa compliant by 2008.
But 70% of banking and payment executives surveyed believe Sepa will ultimately justify new internal payments infrastructure and enable European expansion.
Based on the survey, Accenture has made a number of predictions about the consolidation that will occur as payments are harmonised across Europe leading up to the final Sepa deadline of 2010. It expects debit and credit card schemes will be dominated by MasterCard and Visa, with only four domestic card schemes offering full Sepa-zone acceptance.
It also claims that the processing market will be dominated by three to five very large processors, two of which could be the network operations of MasterCard and Visa, spun off as separate entities.