Eurozone banks say payments business on the brink of upheaval

Eurozone banks say payments business on the brink of upheaval

Over 60% of payments professionals expect their business to have changed out of all recognition by 2010, according to a comprehensive survey of almost 100 Eurozone banks conducted by Finextra Research on behalf of enterprise resource planning outfit SAP.

A clear majority of respondents to the survey believe the Payment Service Directive (PSD) and Sepa (Single Euro Payments Area) are catalysts for industry change that will provide business opportunities for standardising their payment systems. Only a small minority of respondents view the PSD as a tick-box requirement for achieving Sepa compliance.

Thirty-nine per cent of banks surveyed expect to have a single enterprise-wide payments hub by 2010 to build standardised interfaces to other systems to support all payment types. However, 48% plan to implement a shared platform for their payments business that will link together Sepa payment on a common infrastructure, but still maintain some separation.

As the latter figure implies, Eurozone banks are still grappling with the arduous logistical demands of implementing the switchover to the new euro payments area. Indeed, 37% of respondents have yet to fully map out the implications of Sepa for their corporate customers, as they are still formulating their own strategies.

More than 93% of respondents will have signed the Sepa Credit Transfer Adherence Agreement by January 2008. To support the new credit transfers, almost 87% of banks say they will be adopting the new XML message types. However, 32% say they will use XML for interbank transfers only, suggesting a lack of demand and awareness from corporates about the full implications of Sepa for their business.

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