Experian survey finds SEPA still a priority for UK corporates

From: Experian Payments
Published: Fri Aug 14 2009

Experian, the global information services company, has revealed that while the majority (67%) of large UK-based organisations are primarily focused on enhancing business efficiency and reducing costs over the coming six months, payment regulation will also remain high on the corporate agenda.

According to a survey of payments professionals conducted at Experian's Payment Strategies 2009 conference, complying with changes in payments regulation, such as the migration to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and the Payment Services Directive (PSD), remains a priority for 40% of large companies. The survey also found that finance companies are most focused on complying with upcoming payments regulation (53%), while 26% of the insurance companies questioned are making it a priority to become compliant by the end of the year.

Almost a third of corporates are planning to make use of the SEPA Direct Debit service in the next twelve months, indicating that they are far better informed about the SEPA initiative and its value to their businesses. Another Experian survey undertaken in 2008 revealed that 48% of corporates felt that there was insufficient information provided on the move to SEPA.

Jonathan Williams, Director of Product Development and Strategy at Experian Payments, commented: "While most corporates involved in the migration to the pan-European Direct Debit scheme would admit that it has not been a smooth path to tread, SEPA does create direct business opportunities for these organisations. Those planning to make use of the initiative will benefit from greater efficiency in terms of consolidating their systems and rationalising the number of bank accounts they hold as well as having a common standard for direct debit transactions in Euro countries. Those corporates which need to make payments to and receive payments from the European Economic Area will benefit from this more standardised approach to payment transactions."

He added: "Under SEPA, the use of BIC and IBAN to identify the bank and account of a payment beneficiary will become mandatory for all cross-border SEPA payments. Corporates need to be aware of the fact that failure to validate these details before making a payment will result in increased costs and poor customer service. They will need to make the necessary changes in the coming months to avoid these pitfalls which, if not addressed, could affect the profitability of their business."

54 UK-based organisations responded to the survey.


About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 65 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to manage their credit relationships and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2009 was $3.9 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.

About Experian Payments
Experian Payments, develops global strategic payment software solutions and services to meet the requirements of the world’s leading banks and corporate organisations. Focussing on the specific challenges of data validation, including processes to convert IBAN, and the processing of international payments, Experian Payments' platform-independent solutions help organisations control costs, reduce risks and improve customer service through the minimisation of payment errors. Experian Payments has over 1,000 customers across all sectors of industry and commerce. Experian Payments is a division of Experian.

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