Most Companies ‘Have Yet to Put SEPA Compliance Plans into Action’

More than half (52%) of corporates in the single euro payments area (SEPA) have not yet started their SEPA project, and almost a quarter of these have not even started to investigate the issue, according to a survey by EuroFinance sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

The results also revealed considerable uncertainty about what is required for payments to be SEPA-compliant by the 1 February 2014 eurozone migration deadline, with 31% of treasury and finance professionals inside the SEPA zone admitting that they do not know exactly what will be required.

“February 2014 is worryingly close,” said Katharine Morton, director of programming at EuroFinance. “It’s interesting to see how few companies, even inside the eurozone, have got their SEPA compliance plans actually in action, and of those, how many are simply going for the basics.

“It’s understandable, though. Companies have also told us that they are still concerned that the dates may slip again and that they could have challenges getting buy-in from IT departments.”

“These findings come as no surprise to us as they echo our interactions,” added Andrew Reid, head of trade and cash solutions, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Deutsche Bank.  “In our experience, clients fall into two categories: those who are actively looking to maximise the benefits of SEPA, and those who have yet to finalise migration plans despite the looming deadline.

“For this latter – and sizeable – community, the clock is ticking louder than ever, and they must really act now, if they are to reach SEPA compliance at a minimum without incurring undue cost and complexity.”

The online survey has been carried out by EuroFinance since 27 November, when email invitations were sent to selected corporate treasury professionals. The survey data was collected online and 272 responses were received. The objective was to measure where corporate SEPA currently stands, relative to the 1 February 2014 deadline when SEPA credit transfers (SCTs) and SEPA direct debits (SDDs) will effectively replace national credit transfer and direct debit schemes in the eurozone.

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