Romanian SWIFT User Group Meeting

“Partnering with SWIFT”

Dan Anghelescu, BIS Operations Manager, took over the stage atthe Romanian SWIFT User Group Meeting, which gatheredrepresentatives of SWIFT – EMEA area and Romanian SWIFT users -banks that are members of the Romanian BanksAssociation.

Dan Anghelescu’s presentation

Today is the last day you can send feedback and comments on a commission working document focused on SEPA migration end-date
You can comment on implementation approach, waiving or not the niche products, transitional provision and other important aspects…
You can find the document on the European Commission website.

Out of people’s wisdom:
‘The way you prepare it, you get to use it’


SWIFT announcements abstract:
In 2011, SWIFT users will have to pass 2 upgrades

After a several years experience, all SWIFT users have the same opinion: no matter the geo-political conditions, stock fluctuations or times authorities, no matter if we come out of the crisis or not, the moment SWIFT announces upgrades and deadlines for accomplishing these, each SWIFT user is bound to act accordingly.

What’s this all about this time? It’s about the two upgrades SWIFT announced for 2011:

SWIFT connectivity upgrade:
from Dial-up, Dual-I/Single-I/Single-P, Dual-P
to Alliance Connect Bronze, Silver or Gold
deadline: 31.12.2011;


SWIFTNet interfaces upgrade:
from SNL, SAG/SAS, SAB, SAA/SAE, SAW rel. 6.x
to rel. 7.0, optional installing Alliance Web Platform 7.0
deadline: 31.03.2012.


Why should we think about these unpleasant things, now, when summer of 2010 is just beginning and December 2011/March 2012 seem so far away?Because we can’t even think of leaving SWIFTNet interfaces upgrade to be done in the last 3 months of the migration window (you never know the barriers that may occur and to what extent could they obstruct ongoing activities within the SWIFT’s deadline) and we’ll do our best to go through it within 2011.

Even so, why should we talk about these things now?
Because it might be too late at the beginning of 2011.

Because each of the two announced upgrades involves additional costs (a bigger or smaller amount) and, at the beginning of 2011, it will be too late to add these in the budget.

Wise people prepare themselves since summer for the coming winter (a Romanian saying).

…we have fresh news on Finextra: To us it sounds strange that the direct beneficiaries of the SEPA project (whose costs are expected to decrease and be the same in the entire EURO area and in the 31 adhering countries to the SEPA regulation) can’t conceive a business case in the absence of a deadline….. Tough banks everywhere? Any ‘pro’ or ‘con’ opinions?

See the news on Finextra (10 June, 2010) or read it here:

Sepa migration deadlines: dates floated but no decision

With Sepa-compliant transaction volumes still weak, Harcus Cooper of Barclays is forecasting the introduction of phased end-dates for mandatory conversion to the new EU-wide payment instruments, with credit transfers expected to get the nod in 2013 and direct debits by 2015.

The SCT scheme was introduced in early 2008, yet, according to ECB figures, two years later it accounted for just 7.5% of credit transfers in the Euro area. SDD take-up has been equally sluggish – at the recent EBAday it was noted that a paltry 200 SDD transactions per day, globally, go through EBA Clearing.

Cooper, Barclays’ senior product manager on Sepa, was speaking at a payments event organised by Experian in London today. He noted that many corporates are having trouble justifying the business case for Sepa in the absence of a firm migration deadline away from legacy infrastructure.

The Experian event takes place just a week after the European Commission and European Central Bank hosted the first meeting of the Sepa Council, a new body created to guide the future development of the project which has been dogged with criticism.

The meeting is understood to have seen broad consensus reached that January 2013 would be a likely end date for credit transfers with direct debits following in 2015.

It has long been acknowledged that deadlines are necessary. Last March ECB executive board member Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell warned: “We need a migration end date from which on onward only the European payment instruments will exist. We all know that it is inefficient and costly if two schemes continue to run in parallel for a prolonged period of time”.

After talks with stakeholders last year saw widespread support for deadlines, the move appeared to gain impetus, with the EC initiating talks with member states in November yet final dates have still not been set.

Sepa Council established to kick-start EU payments convergence
The European Commission and European Central bank have hosted the first meeting of the Sepa Council, a new body created to guide the future development of the Single Euro Payments Area project.
The meeting brought together top-level representatives from both the demand and supply sides of the European payments market.
Participants from the demand side included consumers, retailers, businesses/corporates, small and medium-sized companies, and national public administrations. Supply side representation comes from the European Payments Council (EPC), co-operative banks, saving banks, commercial banks, and payment institutions. In addition, four national central bank board members represent the Eurosystem. The establishment of the new body follows strong criticism of the Sepa governance structure and the lack of consultation with end-users. At the EBAday meeting in Luxembourg, banks too expressed their concerns about the expense of the project, its sluggish returns and the failure of national governments to support the scheme.Internal market commissioner Michel Barnier describes the formation of the Council as “a crucial step forwards” in the realization of an integrated market for payments in euro. “To achieve the full potential of Sepa, we clearly need to improve user involvement in this project, both from early design to final implementation,” he says. “I very much hope that this new Council will act as a catalyst to create a retail payment framework fully meeting the expectations of all actors.” The main issues discussed at the first meeting were the need and conditions to establish migration end-dates for Sepa and the future of a Sepa for payment cards.

The Council will meet twice a year for an initial period of three years, say the ECB and the Commission, who will monitor and evaluate its progress over time.

Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, ECB executive board member, says the Council will not displace the bank-backed coordinating body, the EPC.”We need to recognize the importance of user involvement for the success of Sepa,” she says. “The Sepa Council aims at bringing together, at the highest level, the demand and supply sides of the European payments market, without, however, replacing any of the existing bodies, such as the European Payments Council.”

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