VocaLink survey finds over one third of companies have no experience of SEPA

11 September 2008

VocaLink, the payment transaction specialist, today published research showing that eight months after the introduction of the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) more than three out of ten businesses have had no experience of it.

SEPA came into effect in January 2008 and SEPA Credit Transfers have been processed since the first day. Yet the survey of corporate treasurers commissioned by VocaLink found that 35% have had no experience of SEPA. The next stage in the evolution of SEPA is the introduction of SEPA direct debit (SDD) but the survey also shows that 36% of corporate treasurers do not expect to implement SDD until 2011 or later. Only 28% of respondents expect to use SDD by the end of 2009.

Paul Taylor, managing director for Europe at VocaLink, comments: “Our research shows that there is a huge opportunity for banks who take an early lead in the market, especially for SEPA direct debit (SDD) services. The trick is to make it attractive to those customers. Working with banks in this space, VocaLink has developed a range of value-added services, such as payments capture and mandate management, to enable banks to make SDD attractive to their clients. Deploying these services offers banks a great opportunity to provide competitive SDD-enabled services to corporate customers ahead of the market and to win new market share.”

Other findings of the research reveal that corporate treasurers want more real-time payment information, which in turn leads to more comprehensive reporting and reconciliation, and consider a single bank relationship as being most beneficial for their business. Paul Taylor adds: “Addressing real time requirements from clients is an ever-increasing issue for the banks that we work with. In response to this market demand, we have developed the VocaLink Real-Time Payments Platform on behalf of major banks around the world and offer services which meet the needs of banks’ corporate customers.”

The survey ‘Meeting the transaction needs of corporates’ was conducted in June 2008 by gtnews.com and commissioned by VocaLink. 77% of the respondents are in executive or management positions, and the largest response came from corporates with revenues over $1bn. VocaLink is using the findings of the research to continue to provide its clients with services that support corporate customers’ specific needs.

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