23 September 2013
Red lights for Estonia and Germany SEPA migration
Results in the recently published qualitative SEPA indicators for the second quarter of 2013 report show several countries significantly struggling in SEPA migration. The European Central Bank examined various countries to assess SEPA progress by stakeholder groups on a country level. The corporate sector in Germany might not complete migration to SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) before February 1st 2014. Corporates in Estonia are also severely behind schedule to complete migration to SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) before the deadline. In addition, SME’s in Cyprus, France, Germany and Spain are at risk of missing the deadline to SCT and SDD.
The report indicators measure the level of SEPA preparedness by the stakeholder groups, big billers, public administrations small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and payments service providers (PSPs). It is compulsory for euro countries to be included in this report and non-euro area European Union countries participate on a voluntary basis only. The indicators are updated quarterly by the national central banks. The assessment is based on a ‘traffic light system’.
According to the indicators:
- All PSPs will be ready before the deadline in February. In the majority of euro area countries, PSPs have already completed preparations.
- Big billers in almost every euro country will be ready. Although, it appears that the corporate sector in Germany might not complete migration to SDD and corporates in Estonia might not complete migration to SCT.
- Public administrations in almost all euro area countries will be ready, except for Germany’s migration to SDD and Estonia’s migration to SCT.
- SMEs in Cyprus, France, Germany and Spain are at risk of missing the SCT and SDD deadlines. SMEs in Estonia might not complete migration to SCT and SMEs in Luxembourg might not complete migration to SDD.
On average most countries are on schedule, according to the qualitative indicators shown in the below chart. Finland is fully ready for SEPA and Slovenia is nearly there.
In some countries, work needs to be done to get ready before the deadline. Estonia and Germany are such countries:
The situation in Poland, an EU member using the Polish Zloty instead of the euro, isn’t very positive when it comes to migration to SEPA. The banks will be ready with SCT, but probably not with SDD. Big billers in Poland are expected to be on time when it comes to SCT, but not with SDD. Public administrations are expected to be ready for SCT, but not for the migration to SDD.
Due to these results, the Council of the EU representing EU member States state that all countries need to significantly intensify communication measures primarily at national level to eliminate existing public awareness gaps. The focus should be on SME’s, small public administrations and local authorities. The Council emphasises that “competent authorities should cooperate intensively, on a national level, to ensure effective and harmonised compliance with the SEPA Regulation.”
Images are taken from the website of the European Payments Council