GROUPE STERIA : Within one year of the deadline, less than a third of European businesses has migrated or is in the process of migrating to SEPA Direct Debit

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Many organisations to miss out on benefits according to study from Steria and Edgar, Dunn & Company

In summary

One in five (21%) European businesses is unaware of SEPA Direct Debit, finds a report from Steria and Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC). Despite more than half agreeing that the migration is considered as bringing more benefits than disadvantages, less than a third have migrated or are in the process of migrating. With so many behind the curve, European businesses risk missing out on these benefits.

Paris, France, 4 December 2012 - One in five European businesses (21%) issuing debits is unaware of Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) direct debits, finds a study from Steria, a leading provider of IT-enabled business services, prepared in collaboration with international Strategy consulting firm Edgar, Dunn & Company (EDC). The report, based on an extensive survey of 300 businesses with 250 to 5,000 employees in France, Germany and the UK, shows that, organisations risk missing out on the benefits of migrating.

SEPA affects the vast majority of EU businesses with all organisations using credit transfers or direct debits in Euros needing to migrate by February 2014. Shockingly, just a third of organisations (31%) has migrated or is in the process of migrating to SEPA Direct Debit (42% in Germany, 35% in France and only 3% in the UK).

30% of French and German businesses and more than 60% in the UK have not started to work on migration to SEPA at all. The remaining organisations are only assessing the project of migrating. 

Despite this, more than half of European businesses (54%) agree that the SEPA Direct Debit scheme will generate more benefits than disadvantages to organisations. SEPA is an opportunity for businesses to plan ahead, redesign cash management systems and processes and generate synergies between business units - a key benefit in today's economy. But, to reap these benefits, it is vital that organisations plan thoroughly and migrate properly.

The study found that a quarter of European businesses are considering working with external payment partners to help them to migrate adequately. Migrating could be a mammoth task for unprepared organisations, given the limited time left before the new legislation comes into force.

Jean-François Mansart, Head of the Group Advanced Payments practice, explains "Organisations that view SEPA as merely a compliance burden are missing a trick. Smart companies will take SEPA as an opportunity to optimise their cash management systems and processes and reduce fraud and bad debt. But they need to allow themselves adequate time to prepare to avoid potentially costly errors and to ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs of migrating.

To read the report's Executive Summary, please visit the following link: www.steria.com/SEPAreport

-ENDS-

About Steria: www.steria.com

Steria delivers IT enabled business services and is the trusted transformation partner for private and public sectors organisations across the globe. By combining in depth understanding of our clients' businesses with expertise in IT and business process outsourcing, we take on our clients' challenges and develop innovative solutions to address them. Through our highly collaborative consulting style, we work with our clients to transform their business, enabling them to focus on what they do best. Our 20,000 people, working across 16 countries, support the systems, services and processes that make today's world turn, touching the lives of millions around the globe each day. For more than 25 years,

Steria has been the business transformation and IT partner to support cross sectors companies for improving their payment information system thank to 500 European payment experts. Founded in 1969, Steria has offices in Europe, India, North Africa and SE Asia and a 2011 revenue of ¤1.75 billion. 21%(*) of Steria's capital is owned by its employees. Headquartered in Paris, Steria is listed on the Euronext Paris market.

(*): including the Employees Shares Trust in the UK

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