London, 9th September 2005 â An international survey of SWIFT messaging technology users conducted by Misys Banking Systems (Misys), one of the worldâs leading financial technology providers, has found that more than one in every five European banks is already acting upon the opportunities presented to them by SEPA compliance initiatives. 24% of European respondents agreed that SEPA was a catalyst for transforming internal message processing infrastructures to cope with SWIFTNet services and standards; a position which could afford them real competitive advantage according to Misys.
Barry Kislingbury, Global Product Manager for financial messaging and integration at Misys Banking Systems explains: âIt is true that consolidation in European payments standards is levelling the playing field and making it harder for banks to differentiate themselves in this space. However, if conducted in the right way, early compliance can indeed act as a catalyst for the smooth adoption of further messaging standards and services and, more importantly, facilitate a growth in future revenue streams.
"By adopting a standards-based and centralised message hub now instead of the traditional multi-system and multi-silo approach, banks will be able to offer the new products and services they need if they are to become or remain a credible player in the payments market."
Of those banks to already have a SEPA project in place, 41% are focusing efforts on Target2 and 38% on STEP2. The majority (66%) handle at least three-quarters of their SWIFT messaging in an automated manner, whilst the vast majority (99%) expect SWIFT usage to increase in the future. When asked to estimate the percentage by which they expect SWIFT usage to increase, 35% predicted an increase of more than 50%.
Respondents were divided on the early adoption of FileAct â a necessary component of SEPA compliance - with 49% already able to support this service. Of the 40% unable to do so, the majority (49%) were planning to address this, most (23%) within the next 6 months.
The survey also paints a rosy picture for the future of SWIFTâs new SWIFTSolutions, with at least 73% of respondents using or intending to use the 14 services currently available.
Respondents were split over their preferred technical platform, with 35% choosing Mainframe, 31% Unix, 24% Microsoft and 12% J2EE.