8 September 2005

The current emphasis on the challenges that SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) poses for banks fails to acknowledge the need for customers’ acceptance and buy-in to the new payments infrastructure, according to a new white paper from LogicaCMG published today at Sibos 2005. SEPA: The Forgotten Customer exposes the current gap in banks’ SEPA strategies, addresses the impact of SEPA on the end-customer and explains that while customers will benefit greatly from SEPA they are yet to participate and understand what it really means for them.

The paper proposes that without pressure from consumers and business customers, there is a danger that SEPA might be derailed.

Jerry Norton, author of the report and director of strategy, global financial services, LogicaCMG said: "There is an ever-increasing amount of material and commentary on all things SEPA related. But everything is either about the bank or the payments infrastructure. I think there is something missing from the debate – the end customer. Try finding commentary about them or written by them."

The compliance demanded by SEPA may cost banks over €10 billion to make the required changes according to some reports. To avoid a severe impact on the bottom line it is estimated that banks will have to deliver cost efficiencies of about 10 percent per annum. LogicaCMG’s paper considers the impact this may have upon the services and products offered by banks.

Jerry Norton explains: "Banks must find as many new ways of making up the shortfall as possible, and to this end SEPA will force an exciting period of innovation in products and processes, with potential for radically improved customer service and differentiation."

SEPA: The Forgotten Customer describes seven steps that the regulators and the banking industry need to take in order to engage customers and ensure that awareness is raised and business cases clarified.

SEPA: The Forgotten Customer is available at the LogicaCMG stand C249 at SIBOS 2005, 5-9 September in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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