Twenty-two Percent of Corporates Already Using SEPA, Finds Survey
According to the single euro payments area (SEPA) Survey 2011, an online survey carried out by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the EC on over 350 companies, 22% of corporates in the eurozone are already using the (SEPA) Credit Transfer (SCT) for more than half of their payments and 24% no longer use domestic transfers. In the next two years, the percentage of companies that will make payments with the SCT is estimated to reach 57%.
Confirmation of the progress made by SEPA in the adoption of new payment instruments, also comes from the figures of the three-year study ‘Economic and Strategic Assessment of the Payments Business,’ conducted by CeTIF – Università Cattolica in collaboration with Capgemini Italia and SIA.
The research involved a panel made up of the main Italian banking groups representing more than 70% of the payments market where, in 2009, there was a total of around 1 billion transactions with a growth of estimated volumes at around 10% in 2010.
In line with what emerged from the survey by the ECB and the EC, SCTs amount to more than 6% of total transactions (estimate 2010), compared with 0.6% in the previous year. The significant migration to the SCT strongly influenced domestic transfers which amounted to 80% following the 92% in 2009.
Thus, the SCT was the payment instrument with the highest growth since the volumes have increased by 977%, rising from nearly 1.1 million transactions in 2009 to about 11.8 million in 2010.
However, to make SEPA a reality, the EC must commit itself and set a precise end date for SEPA standards, according to Carlo Tresoldi, chairman of the SIA.
“Europe can tackle the current period of instability in the financial markets and reaffirm the integration process also through the definitive implementation of SEPA,” said Tresoldi.
“The current economic and productive situation, in fact, requires us to take urgent action in favour of the eurozone not only through purely financial activities but also by supporting important zero-cost initiatives which may help to send out a strong signal towards recovery, such as the standardisation of the various payment instruments. We have thus come to the point where we can no longer afford to postpone the definition of the end date for SEPA.
“It is important that the EC issues, without delay, the regulation needed to establish the end-date by which credit transfers and direct debits harmonised at a European level will have to replace the domestic instruments. In doing so, an integrated Europe would once again take centre stage in a clearer and more transparent regulatory scenario, able to increase the confidence of financial market operators, and finally realise the goal of simplifying the lives of European citizens and achieve efficiency at corporate and public authority (PA) level.
“Even if no end-date has been set, SEPA is advancing gradually and it is strongly expected to accelerate so that it can truly produce beneficial effects for consumers, businesses and public administration bodies,” he concluded.