Euro payment changes causing problems for banks

Banks are struggling to implement plans to handle the introduction of the single Euro payments area (SEPA) in 2008, new research has revealed.

Banks are struggling to implement plans to handle the introduction of the single Euro payments area (SEPA) in 2008, new research has revealed.

A survey of more than 100 retail banks across the UK and Europe, commissioned by IT services firm LogicaCMG, found that more than three quarters admitted they were “just doing the minimum” to meet 2008 requirements.

The research carried out by Coleman Parkes found that 63% of the banks believed lack of coordination across the business would cause real problems in SEPA implementation, while just three out of 10 banks had a plan in operation to migrate clients to SEPA.

Nearly a quarter of banks (23%) were considering outsourcing payment processing to achieve migration from national instruments to SEPA, the survey found.

Barry Kislingbury, global product manager, financial messaging at Misys Banking Systems – which has also surveyed attitudes to SEPA – said the new payments landscape was increasingly a catalyst for banks to transform their internal infrastructure to work with the SwiftNet finance house messaging system.

But he added: “A large number of banks are putting off planning their activities around SEPA until they understand the implications better. We have found that while banks are aware that SEPA will affect them, the detail required to implement the requirements does not yet exist, so plans cannot be finalised.”

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