SIBOS fuels SEPA debate | equensWorldline

SIBOS fuels SEPA debate

Marcel Woutersen

Senior Communications Consultant

02 November 2012

SIBOS fuels SEPA debate


Although SEPA is not a new subject, the expectations around it were high at the SIBOS 2012 event that happened this week. Every year SIBOS brings together influential leaders from financial institutions, market infrastructures, multinational corporations and technology partners to do business and shape the future of the financial industry.

Craig Ramsey raised the expectations for this year’s event on Finextra:

“After years of speculation, we finally appear to have a SIBOS with a SEPA conversation worth having. With the date for compliance across the Eurozone now set for February 2014, we are beginning to see a move by corporates to start to adopt SEPA standards.”

And fortunately, Ramsey was right. Although SEPA did not exactly dominate the SIBOS agenda, the event did fuel some discussions – both on traditional print and online press and social media.

The Banker published an article stating that it might be wrong to place a bet on the SEPA deadline being postponed, despite the economic crisis. Even a potential exit from the Euro for some countries will not harm the project, according to Mark Buitenhek, Global Head of Payments & Cash Management at ING:

“Let’s be honest, we do not need a single currency to roll out SEPA. Payment is about standardization – look at MasterCard and Visa. They have global standards regardless of currencies.”

Global Finance discussed that SEPA is fostering the interest in consolidated payment flows. SEPA enables companies to use one standard for subsidiaries in each country. Therefore, the new payment standard is an opportunity to reduce costs, since corporates no longer need to handle payments on a country-by-country basis when they establish a payment factory.

The buzz around SEPA was not limited to traditional media. The topic was also increasingly debated on social media. Twitter stats show that on the first two days of the event 361 Twitter messages using the word SEPA have been tweeted – an increase of almost 50 per cent compared to the same days a week earlier. This shows that the topic is increasingly subject to debate, as the migration date is drawing nearer.

Concluding, it is safe to say SIBOS did indeed fuel the SEPA debate. And we dare to predict that this was not just a drop in the ocean.