With the Payment Services Directive
(PSD) due to come into force on 1 November, and the Single Euro
Payments Area (SEPA) Direct Debit (SDD) scheme to follow the next
day, Europe should be preparing for the start of a transparent,
harmonised and integrated market for payments and payment

But according to a report published by the
Financial Services Club, Europe’s policymakers, banks, corporates
and infrastructure providers have become increasingly frustrated
with the initiative. Some 58 percent of them say that the PSD is
being transposed inconsistently with 63 percent stating that this
is because of different interpretations at the country level.

Only 13 percent believe it is being
implemented correctly.

“Efficient markets need efficient payments
systems.  If it’s not happening, then it’s a crossroad for
SEPA and the PSD, that may stop these changes succeeding,” said
Werner Steinmuller, head of global transaction services at Deutsche

Report author Chris Skinner said: “European
payment initiatives have come a long way over the past seven years,
in the bid to achieve a harmonised financial market.

“However, the time, cost and gradual process
has slowed to the point of boredom and frustration for many
involved and there is now a concern that a further period of static
vacuum, as the PSD irons out its inconsistencies, could undermine
the achievements of the SEPA programme.”

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