SEPA: Banks Are Building It, But Will Corporate Customers Come?

May 22, 2008


Milan, Italy 22 May 2008


The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) initiative is already live and could have a significant impact on European business. However, complaints, concerns, and finger-pointing among regulators, banks, and corporations currently prevail over progress.

In a new report, ?, Celent examines how banks, regulators, technology vendors, and corporations are approaching the SEPA initiative, launched as the implementation project of the European Union's Lisbon agenda. There is a general consensus that collaboration and cooperation will help overcome initial strife, but none of the constituents seems willing to take the first step. This report focuses on each constituent's business focus and targets, identifying gaps and areas of convergence.

The report begins with an examination of corporate awareness about the SEPA initiative. This is supported by results from a recent survey across European operations managers, purchasing directors, supply chain executives, treasurers, and finance directors. It then examines the role played by banks and their initiatives to promote SEPA to their customers. The report continues with some consideration of SEPA's impact on corporate supply chains, incorporating an overview of the solutions and strategies adopted by IT vendors in approaching the payments market within the new SEPA environment. Finally, the report scrutinizes the role of regulators and predicts the next steps for key stakeholders.

"Industry forces have pushed organizations to focus primarily on costs and quality under the current climate of clear economic stress," says Enrico Camerinelli, senior analyst with Celent's banking group and author of the report. "Celent has identified the key criteria that corporate executives should adopt in order to link financial objectives with SEPA's expectations."

The following vendors and banks are included: SAP, Clear2Pay, and Deutsche Bank.

The report is 68 pages long and contains one table and 18 figures. A table of contents is available online.

Members of Celent's Wholesale Banking research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.  Non-members should contact for more information.  

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Milan, Italy 22 May 2008


Executive Summary 3
Why Should It Matter? 5
Corporations Know Very Little About SEPA 7
  Pros 11
  Cons 13
Banks Are Doing the Bare Minimum, Trying to Find ROI 17
Impact of SEPA on the Supply Chain 23
IT Vendors Following a Wait and See Approach 27
Regulators and Banks: Not in My Back Yard 32
What Comes Next? 35
Appendix One: Basics of SEPA 42
Appendix Two: Stakeholders 47
  Banks 47
  IT Vendors 51
  SAP 53
  Clear2Pay 57
  Corporations 63


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