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Caleb Barnum
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SEPA Migration Fails to Satisfy Sibos Delegates

A survey by ACI Worldwide at this year’s Sibos has found that 78 percent of those delegates questioned who expressed an opinion ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that the migration to SEPA instruments has been disappointing to date. Moreover, 46 percent of respondents feel there is nothing more that the banking industry’s self regulation of SEPA can deliver and they overwhelmingly believe that the time is right for SWIFT to play a role in reversing the present situation.

The key findings from the survey include:
• 78 percent of respondents who expressed an opinion believe that the migration to SEPA instruments has been disappointing to date
• 75 percent of respondents believe that there is now a role for SWIFT to play in extending bank-to-bank collaboration to provide the SEPA business solutions required by the market
• 77 percent of respondents believe that if SWIFT allows greater access to its network for corporates, it can assist in the take-up of SEPA and the adoption of end-to-end standards

Paul Styles, business solutions manager at ACI Worldwide, commented on the findings, “SEPA started as a framework to benefit corporates and consumers but has morphed into an interbank framework that has been moulded primarily by the banks. It’s not surprising therefore that SEPA migration has been considered disappointing to date. However, we agree with the majority of Sibos delegates that as an ‘external’ body, SWIFT could help to make SEPA a more attractive proposition for corporates. SWIFT could have an important role to play in helping the banking industry formulate a business case for corporates’ SEPA migration. Such an approach would also help avoid the ‘mini-SEPA’ dreaded by the regulators, where significant regional or country-specific variations exist.”

The survey targeted 104 Sibos 2008 delegates, representing financial institutions, corporates and vendors.