Phased end-dates are being forecasted for
mandatory conversion to the new EU-wide payment instruments in a
bid to combat the sluggish take-up of Sepa-compliant transactions
(SCT).

According to figures from the European Central
Bank, the SCT scheme, which was launched in early 2008, accounted
for just 7.5 percent of credit transfers in Europe. Sepa direct
debit (SDD) has also failed to get off the ground. At the
recent Euro Banking Association, it was noted that only
200 SDD transactions go through EBA Clearing per day.

It is understood that the first meeting of the
Sepa Council resulted in a broad consensus being reached that
January 2013 would be a likely end date for credit transfers with
direct debits following in 2015.

Speaking at an Experian payments event, Harcus
Cooper, senior product manager for Barclays noted that many
corporates are having trouble justifying the business case for Sepa
in the absence of a firm migration deadline away from legacy
infrastructure.

“We need a migration end date from
which [point] only the European payment instruments will
exist,” warned Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell. “We all know that it is
inefficient and costly if two schemes continue to run in parallel
for a prolonged period of time.”

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is a European Commission and
European Payments Council initiative that plans to remove the
barriers to movement of cross-border electronic Euro payments.

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