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Quantifying people’s views on SEPA

The conference that Johnny Brit addressed was attended by around 300 people, mostly bankers and payments solutions providers from across Europe.

Throughout the conference, interactive electronic voting was used to gauge people's views of the markets, the economic crisis and the implementation of SEPA.

Here are the results.

The first question  was:

What is the value of transaction services (payments processing) to a bank?
32.7% A stable source of revenue
25.5% An anchor product for the bank to keep the customer
23.6% Provides infrastructure for enabling financial processes
  5.5% Other

Ah, so Johnny may have been right in thinking that banks view payments processing as a way to lock in customers. After all, money transmissions are the core of a bank’s services aren’t they?

What is your most pressing area for near-term focus in 2009?

38.2% New revenue sources
22.4% Regulations
19.7% Risk management
15.8% Cost reduction
  3.9% Surviving

Interestingly the focus is finding growth, which is positive.

What is your most pressing area for longer-term?

82.89% New revenue sources
  5.26% Regulations
  3.95% Cost reduction
  3.95% Surviving

I note here how risk management disappeared from the list. So risk is just a short-term focus whilst we get over this market blip?

Of the following, which are the most interesting areas in 2009?
54.23% SEPA and the Payment Services Directive
28.81% Remittances and mobile payments
15.75% Getting back to basics
  1.69% MT202 Cover Payments

So over half the audience are focused upon SEPA and the PSD. Not surprising as it’s a European audience and, in a separate voting sessions, the audience were asked specifically about their views of SEPA and the PSD’s progress.

Is SEPA going to help Europe’s Lisbon agenda for an integrated EU financial marketplace?
66.7% Yes
  9.5% No
23.8% No idea

Around a quarter of attendees, most of whom specialise in payments in the EU, have no idea whether SEPA will help the Lisbon agenda to create a single European financial market. Interesting.

Who is going to benefit most from SEPA?
33.33% Consumers
46.97% Businesses
12.12% Banks
  4.55% Public Authorities
  3.03% No idea

Apparently 84.85% of the audience were bankers and 12.12% corporate users. The other 3.03% just confused.

Will the PSD be implemented homogeneously throughout Europe?
26.1% Yes
68.1% No
  5.8% No idea

I think the audience conclusively concur with some of Johnny Brit’s views (by the way, this poll was taken before his speech).

The interactive voting finished with the general question:

When do you expect the turnaround to happen?

  1.5% Before summer 2009
10.6% Second half 2009
21.2% Early 2010
28.8% Mid 2010
28.8% Late 2010
  9.1% Later

Mmmm … most are looking to 2010 or beyond. Seems to be a general consensus although 2010 for a turnaround means turning around from contraction to what?

Flat-lining?
Growth?
Slow growth or fast growth?

More on this next week as there were some other good discussions about such matters from folks like Robert Peston of the BBC and Stephane Garelli, Professor of Economics at the Swiss University of Lausanne.

Meanwhile, the Financial Services Club is conducting research into bank,
corporate and national readiness for the implementation of SEPA and the
PSD during the summer for a publication to be released in September
2009.

If you are interested in participating or sponsoring this research, please contact admin@balatroltd.com.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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