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Towards a Borderless World for Payments

This was the theme of this year’s EBAday forum, the annual conference organized by the Euro Banking Association and Finextra Research. Payments professionals from all across Europe have gathered in Berlin for two days of intense networking and debate on topics like payments innovation, liquidity management, SEPA readiness, supply chain finance, electronic and mobile payments, payments regulation, as well as collaboration and partnerships. And we were there, as usual 🙂

 

Many interesting sessions, raising a lot of questions. But, as Vincent Brennan, Head of Group Payments, Bank of Ireland said, nobody would be there if they had all the answers, people are looking for information and opinions. There’s been a strong desire to learn and to collaborate on a wide range of subjects.

Mentioning collaboration, it seems it was THE WORD of this year’s forum. Hearing someone say that collaboration is not just team work, it means pooling off resources and knowledge between banks, vendors, consultancies, regulators etc, made me immediately think of FinTP, one of our topics at EBAday. If collaboration is vital for operational efficiency, if now is the time for banks to share, why not consider building together an open source community around a financial transactions processing platform? It’s too bold? But innovation was another word frequently mentioned these two days. Just think about it. Anyway, I found it cool how most of the concepts at EBAday – collaboration, innovation, sharing – all lead to FinTP!

But what am I doing? Writing and writing and still no mention of SEPA? Well, I kept the best for last 🙂 Of course, SEPA readiness was on everybody’s lips and minds, generating all kinds of questions and even worries. What are banks going to do if customers simply don’t migrate, what will they do with those payments? Who is going to pay for all the investments SEPA compliance involves? Who will have, if any the full benefits from these mandatory changes: the banks, the corporates, the software vendors? Is the fact that the SEPA scheme is so different to the national ones the key difficulty for corporates? What about BIC/IBAN usage? And so on. But even if there are still some uncertainties about SEPA, one thing is sure: everybody should know it is coming! And even if SEPA is not really single yet and there’s still a long way to go, as countries tend to have their own rules, we need to make sure that in the end, after all these changes, we shall still have a common language.

But that’s another reason we were exhibiting at EBAday, to show people our easy way to SEPA readiness.

Missed the sessions? You can check the detailed live coverage of the event by Finextra, for both day one and day two.

With yet another EBAday edition passed, we start looking forward to next year, in Helsinki, the first in the brave new SEPA world. So, hopefully, when we’ll see each other again in 2014, SEPA compliance will be just another thing we’ve successfully overcome.

 

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