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September 10, 2009updated 04 Apr 2017 1:12pm

Report suggests flaws in SEPA’s ambitions

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 processing

By Douglas Blakey

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 processing.

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 Bank.

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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