SEPA Migration: Facts and Figures

SEPA Migration: Facts and Figures

The state-of-play in January 2012

24 October 12

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Percentage of banks in offering Credit Transfer services

The European Payments Council ( ) launched the Credit Transfer ( ) Scheme in January 2008. As of January 2012, 4,521 payment service providers ( ) in 32 countries offer services. Today, the delivering services represent more than 95 percent of payment volumes in Europe. Due to mergers and acquisitions, the absolute number of participants ( offering services) has slightly decreased compared to previous Single Euro Payments Area ( ) market uptake reports featured in this newsletter. The Participant Register, which lists scheme participants, is publicly available at

Percentage of transactions compared to the total volume of credit transfers generated by customers

According to the indicators compiled by the European Central Bank (ECB), the share of transactions as a percentage of the total volume of credit transfers generated by bank customers, amounts to 22.6 percent as of November 2011. The ECB Indicators can be viewed at

A figure of 100 percent would indicate that only services are used and have fully replaced non- instruments. The Indicators are based on aggregated data provided by clearing and settlement infrastructures in the euro area processing transactions. This data avoids double counting by excluding, for example, transactions sent via links between infrastructures. The data also excludes 'on-us' transactions (SCTs between accounts at the same bank) as well as transactions cleared between banks bilaterally or via correspondent banking. The ECB Indicators also show market uptake by country.

Percentage of banks in offering Direct Debit services

The launched the Core Direct Debit ( ) Scheme and the Business to Business Direct Debit ( ) Scheme on 2 November 2009. As of January 2012, 3,923 , representing more than 80 percent of payments volume, have signed up to the  Scheme. Of those, 3,443 also adhere to the Scheme. The separate Participant Registers for the and Schemes list the scheme participants taking part in these Schemes. These registers are publicly available at

All branches of banks in the euro area must be reachable for cross-border direct debits; e.g. the Scheme, since 1 November 2010 as mandated by Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 (Article 8).

Percentage of transactions compared to the total volume generated by customers

According to the indicators compiled by the ECB, as of November 2011 the share of transactions, as a percentage of the total volume of direct debits generated by bank customers, amounts to 0.16 percent. The ECB Indicators can be viewed at

The figures are based on aggregated data from several clearing and settlement infrastructures / systems located in the euro area. As such, transactions which are cleared bilaterally or processed within the same institution are excluded from this indicator.

for cards: tracking EMV roll-out

As reported in previous issues of the Newsletter, good progress is being made in the realisation of a for cards. The 's Cards Framework (SCF) outlines high level principles and rules that when implemented by the card industry, will deliver a consistent user experience to both cardholders and merchants when making or accepting euro payments or cash withdrawals. The SCF recognises the EMV standard for -wide acceptance of card payments. EMV is an industry standard to implement chip (and personal identification number (PIN) security) for card transactions to combat fraud. An important indicator on the progress in this area is the number of cards, points of sales (POS) and automated teller machines (ATMs) in the market that use chip and PIN for the authorisation of a card payment. More specifically, the percentage of EMV-compliant cards, POS and ATMs in is monitored.

At the end of 2011 (estimates), 87.2 percent of cards, 94.2 percent of POS and 96.7 percent of ATMs in were EMV-compliant.

The progress of EMV roll-out, based on these findings and other relevant data on the subject, are reflected by the ECB Card Indicators at

Corporate readiness

In January 2012, the Blog titled ' Gaining Ground with Corporates' (see 'related links' below) reported on findings of the gtnews Payments Survey 2011, which asked its corporate readers to rank instruments among regularly used methods to make and receive payments. Just over a third of respondents said they regularly made payments via , while 14 percent used . The results are almost identical for corporates receiving payments via instruments. Almost 20 percent of corporate respondents already invested in compliance and more than 40 percent said that investment plans were already in the making, whether that is within a three-month timeline or just 'at some point'. The 2011 Payments Survey results also show that some corporates are still hesitant to invest in services. When asked if their organisation planned to make that investment in the future, 20 percent of those corporates operating in Western Europe stated they had no plans. These findings however, reflect a step forward in terms of uptake compared to the Payments Survey 2010, when almost 50 percent of corporates said that they were not planning a investment.

The ECB and the European Commission have also conducted surveys in the European corporate sector about practices in making and receiving payments, invoicing and migration to . The report titled 'European Business Test Panel (EBTP) Survey 2011. How do you pay? How would you like to pay?' (see 'related links' below) summarises the results of and draws conclusions from the fourth survey of this kind, which was conducted in early 2011. The report indicates that " migration in the corporate sector is proceeding well." 22 percent of respondents indicated that they use for more than half of their company's outgoing payments. Over 24 percent of participants responded that national credit transfers are not used any more. In comparison with this, direct debit payments are less in use. 70 percent of all respondents indicated they do not or only infrequently pay via national direct debits. 42 percent of responding companies however have already made payments using ; and 37 percent have already received payments via this new instrument."

Public sector readiness

In November 2011, the European Commission Services published the fifth survey on public administrations' preparedness and migration to (see 'related links' below). This survey finds that public administrations' (PAs) migration to has accelerated since the last survey, with the overall migration rate increasing from 14.5 percent in October 2010 to 24.9 percent in June 2011. The report also states:

  • PAs in many European Union ( ) Members States in the euro area seem to be taking over the lead for the migration at national level, namely in Finland (90.9 percent), Belgium (77.4 percent), Slovenia (65 percent), Austria (60 percent), Germany (37.6 percent), France (21.1 percent) and Spain (16.5 percent) and are expected to make further progress or fully completing migration to in the coming months.
  • Nevertheless, a number of euro area Member States are still lagging behind and their migration to is progressing at an extremely slow pace, with the rate often not exceeding one percent of total credit transfers volume, namely in Greece (0.01 percent), Estonia (0.10 percent), Ireland (0.2 percent), Slovakia (0.5 percent), Cyprus (0.8 percent), Netherlands (1.2 percent) and Italy (2.3 percent).
  • PA migration to stays close to 0 percent with only a very few PAs using (in particular in Belgium and Germany). It is, however, important to stress that direct debits are generally used by PAs to a very limited extent or not at all.

Setting a deadline for migration to

As confirmed by the findings of a study requested by the European Commission in 2007, the benefits for bank customers inherent to the harmonisation exercise are contingent upon swift migration to a single set of payment instruments by both the demand and the supply sides1. The believes that end dates must be set for the phasing out of existing national euro credit transfer and euro direct debit schemes to ensure that the high costs of running multiple payment schemes in parallel can be eliminated.

In December 2010, the European Commission published a proposal for an 'Regulation Establishing Technical Requirements for Credit Transfers and Direct Debits in Euros' (commonly referred to as the ' Regulation').

The ensuing legislative process is now coming to an end. On 20 December 2011, negotiators on behalf of the European Parliament and the Council representing Member States agreed that the Regulation will define 1 February 2014 as the deadline in the euro area for compliance with the core provisions of this Regulation. Effectively, this means that as of this date, existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by and . It is expected that the Plenary of the European Parliament will formally adopt the Regulation in February 2012.

For more information, refer to the article ' Regulation: European Legislator Mandates Migration to by 1 February 2014 in the Euro Area and Transfers the Responsibility for Scheme management to the European Commission' (see 'related articles in this issue' below).

Etienne Goosse is the Secretary General.

Related links:

Blog: SEPA Gaining Ground with Corporates 

European Central Bank and European Commission Report: European Business Test Panel SEPA Survey 2011. How do you pay? How would you like to pay?

European Commission Services 5th Survey on Public Administrations Preparedness and Migration to SEPA (November 2011 

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing technical requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euros and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 - Approval of the final compromise text, 16 December 2011

European Commission Press Release of 20 December 2011: 'Commissioner Michel Barnier Welcomes Agreement by Council and Parliament Establishing SEPA Migration End-Dates'

European Parliament Press Release of 20 December 2011: 'Cheaper, Faster and Safer Cross-border Payment Services'

The Website features a dedicated page ' Migration - Reports, Case Studies and Indicators'. This page includes Newsletter articles reporting on the migration experience in the different countries. To view this page, click here 

SEPA Council: Formal Declaration on End-Date(s) (June 2010) 

Economic and Financial Affairs Council (EU Finance Ministers): SEPA Conclusions of December 2009

Related articles in this issue:

SEPA Regulation: European Legislator Mandates Migration to SEPA by 1 February 2014 in the Euro Area and Transfers the Responsibility for SEPA Scheme Management to the European Commission. Chair comments on the new regulatory reality governing the integration of the euro payments market

The New European Decision-Making Landscape: How the European Commission Rules Through 'Delegated Acts'. SEPA Regulation empowers the European Commission to mandate technical requirements applicable to SEPA payment schemes

Ahead of the Curve: Deutsche Post Pension Service Completes SEPA Migration. This early mover currently disburses 22.5 million SEPA payments monthly

Related articles in previous issues:

Newsletter: Case Studies Highlighting Successful SEPA Migration Projects of Bank Customers

Newsletter: articles published in the section 'Focus: SEPA Migration'


1 : Potential Benefits at Stake (Capgemini) available at

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