SIBOS, the biggest event in the payments
industry calendar, is due to start this month with SEPA high on the

The conference will be held in Amsterdam
between 25 and 28 October – just ahead of a scheduled announcement
from the European Commission on its final legislative proposals for

It is expected the Commission will schedule a
deadline for the migration to SEPA payments, part of the initiative
to provide a more uniform and open European payments market
following the introduction of the single currency.

The payments industry has been calling for a
deadline for some time to reduce uncertainty and costs related to
implementation. The lack of a deadline has meant many banks and
corporates have been running legacy and SEPA systems concurrently,
rather than making the larger investments needed to switch fully to

“Over the next three years, [SEPA is] going to
be more of a negative than a positive,” said Gareth Lodge, research
director for European payments at consultancy company

“But if you look over a 15-year period, for
example, it can be seen as part of any change to any industry. What
SEPA means to banks depends on what they perceive their role to be
in the evolving marketplace.”

SIBOS is organised and sponsored by SWIFT, the
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

SWIFT is a communicator between international
financial institutions that partner in shaping and defining
industry standards.

SWIFT CEO Lázaro Campos said this year’s event
will focus on “regulation, rebuilding trust and recovery.”

Cards International will be reporting from the
event, providing news and analysis throughout the four-day
conference online and in print.