Corporates are getting ready to engage
Since the Deloitte Survey 2008 a lot has happened. The contours of a harmonised payment landscape throughout Europe are starting to take shape. By November 2009, nearly all countries in the European Economic Area () have transposed the Payment Services Directive (PSD) into national legislation, and the Direct Debit () Scheme became available. The banks are prepared for and now it is the turn of the corporates to engage in the process. In its recurring survey, Deloitte presents findings on the current state of adoption amongst corporates in the Euro payments area. The results of the Survey 2009 show that one third of the corporate world is now assessing the consequences and opportunities associated with and some are already implementing solutions. The early results seem to indicate that they will be rewarded for taking this head start.
Corporates confirm: has major impact on business processes
This survey was sent to Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), finance managers, cash managers and treasurers of corporates in euro countries. Responses indicate that most corporates take seriously; just 13% of the respondents regard only as a compliance issue. Most respondents acknowledge that has a major impact on payment processes (51%), and almost half of the respondents think that offers major business opportunities ( 46%).
Compared to the 2008 results, the 2009 survey found that an increasing number of corporates are getting ready for . Almost half of the respondents have a strategy (49%), and 39% of the respondents already have a designated team (see figure 1). One third of the respondents stated that the implementation of has begun, whereas 46% claim that their back office system is now able to process payment files.
The results demonstrate that corporates are proactively taking action to prepare for and even more action is expected in the near future. 61% of the respondents plan to use the Credit Transfer in 2010, whereas 28% expect to use the Direct Debit within the first year of availability (e.g. in the course of 2010).
Preparation is everything
Almost one third of the respondents are prepared for adoption, having both a dedicated team and a strategy in place. These corporates have already started deriving significant benefits (see figure 2). 69% of this group acknowledge that will have a major impact on their payment systems, compared to 46% of the corporates that do not have a dedicated team or strategy in place. Furthermore, those corporates which acknowledge that will have a major impact are better able to estimate their investments (96%) and have a better idea of the financial benefits for their organisation (88%), than corporates that do not have a team or strategy in place.
The new approach to : a corporate opportunity
The results of last year's survey showed that readiness for amongst corporates was low. However, the results of this survey show that the situation has significantly changed, which is not surprising. An increasing number of corporates understand that sooner or later their payment systems need to be adopted to . Furthermore, some of these corporates have already found opportunities to directly benefit from .
Adoption of has become a necessity. The bare minimum for every corporate is to become compliant. This includes adapting systems to be able to process payments, collecting IBAN and BIC information, and adjusting direct debit mandate forms. Most banks already use payments for international cash transfers and an increasing number of banks will use for domestic transfers.
However, as the results show, most companies think of as more than a mandatory compliance exercise. This is in line with several studies that have demonstrated the potential benefits of ranging from 50 to 175 billion euro. Corporates should therefore regard as an excellent opportunity to reap the benefits from cost reduction, increased transparency and reliability through1:
- More efficient account reconciliations
- Lower IT costs
- Increased scale of automatic processing
- Reduced number of bank accounts and banking relations
- Easier centralisation of cash management
- Opportunities to use e-Invoicing, e-Reconciliation and mobile payments
- Direct Debit, one debit system throughout Europe
Early movers benefit most
The results of the survey indicate that almost one third of corporates have taken a head start in their assessment and implementation of . These firms will most likely have minimum difficulties in meeting the preliminary requirements of the banks to process payments and, more importantly, will be the first to gain from the 's benefits and opportunities.
Eddy Ouwendijk is a senior manager at Deloitte. Joris Barbas is a business analyst at Deloitte.
Publication: SEPA for Business
Related articles in previous issues:
1. "The economic impact of the Single Euro Payments Area", ECB Occasional Paper No 71, August 2007 / Estimate by EACT (European Association of Corporate Treasures) based on real user-cases
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