SEPA is an area in which consumers, companies and other economic players will be able to make and receive payments in euro, whether between or within national boundaries under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of their location.
Under the multi-year agreement, Euronet will facilitate the migration of OMVâs decentralized acquiring operations at filling stations, including several third-party service providers in 12 countries, to Euronetâs single central SEPA compliant processing platform for approximately 5,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals as well as POS management and fuel card authorization services. Euronet will leverage its in-country European operations to provide 24x7 operations support including local language customer support to OMV across the 12 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The agreement allows for additional countries, where OMV operates, to be migrated to the centralized SEPA processing platform in the future.
By the end of 2008, all of OMVâs 5,000 payment terminals will be changed to EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) compliant terminals, which will be connected to Euronetâs central IT data center offering both bank card and fuel card processing services. With this transaction, OMV will be one of the first large cross-border merchants to implement the evolving SEPA concept.
Within the agreement, Erste Bank, a leading retail bank in Central and Eastern Europe, has been chosen as the cross-border merchant acquirer for Bankcard payments at OMV forecourts across these 12 countries. "The importance of the deal is particularly significant, taking into consideration that Erste Bank will be one of the first banks to provide SEPA cross-border payments in Europe," commented Andreas Treichl, CEO of Erste Bank.
The signing of this innovative agreement between Euronet and OMV signals the start of a far-reaching change in Europe allowing merchants with fragmented and thus, expensive operations, to achieve significant cost savings, economies of scale and process efficiencies via centralized operations and processing.
âThe OMV project is a strong confirmation of Euronetâs strategy to become the EFT provider of choice in the CEE region for multinational retailers and banks. This innovative project further affirms our recent decisions to increase our investment to expand on POS and card-processing services in addition to our traditional ATM business,â said Michael J. Brown, Euronet Worldwide chairman, CEO and president. âThe project leverages our existing local market knowledge, presence and operations. We are honored to have been chosen to work as a strategic partner on this project with a prestigious, market-leading company such as OMV.â
Overview of SEPA by European Central Bank
The aim of SEPA is to advance European integration with a competitive and innovative Euro area retail payments market that can bring with it higher service levels, more efficient products and cheaper alternatives for making payments. SEPA consists of:
- the single currency,
- a single set of Euro payment instruments - credit transfers, direct debits and card payments,
- efficient processing infrastructures for Euro payments,
- common technical standards,
- common business practices,
- a harmonized legal basis, and
- ongoing development of new customer-oriented services.