Contrary to common belief, migration to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is far from complete—both for payments services providers (PSPs) and payments services users (PSUs). A lot of work still needs to be carried out because:
Many participants approached their initial SEPA migration as a compliance project primarily to meet a point-in-time deadline, rather than an opportunity to reengineer their payments operations.
The SEPA scheme is still evolving. The next versions of the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) rulebooks are currently under development and scheduled to come into effect beginning November 2015.
Against this background, the next phase of SEPA migration is imminent—focusing on payments transformation. In this phase, corporates will need to take steps to consolidate their banking relationships and harmonize their processes. Further, on the supplier side, this phase will see wider acceptance of SEPA Additional Optional Services (AOS)—as PSPs seek to build differentiation and win market share in a highly competitive payments marketplace.