Corporates are showing a worrying lack of readiness to the looming SEPA end date of 1 February 2014, according to the State of the European Payments Marketplace survey sponsored by the payment and information technology company CGI and the Euro Banking Association (EBA).

The survey highlighted that 79% of Euro-zone corporates are behind with SEPA migration procedures, with more than half still in the planning phase. Yet, 68% of respondents still view SEPA as an opportunity with strong business benefits.

"The lack of SEPA readiness will require refreshing approaches from banks, corporates and service providers, as the clock is ticking. Working with our clients we have seen significant business benefits that can be achieved through complying with the legislation but time is running out for those who have yet to focus on SEPA," said Jerry Norton, head of strategy, Financial Services, CGI.

According to the 420 participants from 47 countries, mobile and real-time payments have instead become a top priority due to their high growth potential. A vast 98% believe mobile commerce is a priority or will be in the next few years, demonstrating the growing importance of mobile commerce in delivering easy access to services.

"Looking back at the results from 2012, we saw the beginning of conversations around the need for real-time payments in the UK, Sweden & Poland. Mobile commerce is now reinforcing the need for real-time payments and delivering easy access for banking customers," Norton added.

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