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Is SEPA so boring?

Last week we showed up for the first time under the new Allevo trade name, by attending SPIN, an annual conference & exhibition organized by the Italian Banking Association, focused on international payment systems and services. Unfortunately I’m such a poor photographer that the photos I’ve taken from the exhibition hall cannot give you an idea about how nice our stand was, the fanciest we’ve had until now in my opinion.

SPIN was a very good opportunity to learn about the diversity of the Italian market, about its concerns and, why not, about its power: three parallel sessions, rich content and various subjects, speakers representing almost all the segments of the domestic and international market. I was surprised to find the involvement of the academy in this domain, at least four speeches being held by professors from Italian universities.

As one of the most important players in the Italian market, CBI Consortium – our stand neighbor at Sibos Hong Kong, provides to Italian companies a standardized platform to work directly with their partner banks, the interest of the most attendees being directed to new ideas in product management. The playground being based on the same infrastructure, the technicalities will not make the difference anymore and the competition will be mainly on price, quality, and distribution.

Everyone is fishing for new ideas, if not with the purpose of achieving leadership, at least not to miss the start!

The Romanian SEPA pioneers found the most difficult tasks in implementing SEPA were the legal aspects and the pricing of the new SEPA products.  It seems these are not only Romanian opinions. The legal aspects were extensively discussed during SPIN, starting with the PSD impact on payment services to legal aspects of B2C relationship.

A plenary and a panel were dedicated to the SEPA end date subject.  And now… you’ll make the match with my title! Alexandre Rivera pointed the opinion of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance on the SEPA regulation text, now in final discussions stage in both Council and Parliament. Regarding SEPA awareness he mentioned his daughter who watched a SEPA video on YouTube and asked him whether his work is so boring.  He is right; you can try on YouTube for yourself and if you haven’t heard about SEPA until now, maybe that’s the reason why.

Despite of this reality I found the SEPA regulation evolution a very interesting subject, with passionate public positions as Gerard Hartsink had in the EPC Newsletter No 7 On Payments and Light Bulbs, and many other comments and replies from almost all the stakeholders, before and after the proposal has been published. Now it seems almost a masochistic game which is going to an end. This July the text revised by the Council and the Parliament will be reconciled and sometime this autumn we’ll finally have the end date of the end date!

I would like to add that we were lucky enough to be in Rome during a taxi strike! However, we eventually managed to attend the gala event and we can guarantee that Italian food, wine and charm deserve their fame.

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