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SEPA Creating a New European Payments Landscape

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Introduction SEPA will transform the way euro payments products and services are delivered to corporate and consumer users, heralding the most fundamental change in the banking and financial services industry wthin Europe during the last 30 years. The SEPA journey will impact all participants in the euro payments value-chain, but banks, in particular, face a 'perfect storm.' Banks will have to make significant investments to facilitate SEPA, while also confronting the headwinds presented by the economic uncertainty in the Eurozone, which shows no sign of abating. If Greece were to exit the euro – the so-called 'Grexit' – other countries are likely to follow, destabilizing the very foundations of SEPA, potentially rendering major investments redundant. Against this backdrop, banks will have to make well-informed decisions concerning their technology solutions and customer propositions in order to continue to operate successfully in the euro payments arena – in whatever form that ultimately takes. And time is running out quickly, as a target date of 1 February 2014 (31 October 2016 for non-euro countries) has been set for migration to SEPA credit transfers and direct debits. This commentary has been produced by Zafin, a market-leading provider of innovative pricing and billing products to the banking and financial services industry, to provoke further thinking on the subject of SEPA. SEPA's background and objectives are highlighted along with some of the potential challenges banks will face in responding to such fundamental change. White Paper: SEPA's New European Payments Landscape Des Farrell, Senior Pricing Consultant, Zafin Advisory

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