Monday, March 12, 2007

Public letter by EPC on progress: delay of direct debit

This week, we saw the publication of a public letter by the European Payment Council. While it contained a lot of text on technical progress, the main message was that, due to the delay of the authorities to draft the Payment Services Directive, the market roll out of direct debit products (based on the EPC-direct debit standard) will also be delayed.

Interestingly, there's no mention of a new provisionl start date. So we have to do te math outselves. Let's assume that this summer, the PSD will be finished. Then, we need translation in 2 languages, so that'll be October before the thing is all clear. And add another 18-24 months to that. Meaning that at the end of 2009, the PSD may be implemented in a series of Member States.

And now, let's step back at the timing and planning of both EPC and the Commission
- EPC started in 2002 and took 2008 as a firm starting date; goal achieved while in the meantime the cross-border infrastructure was transformed to a full IBAN/BIC processing on the basis of Credeuro-convention,
- the Commission started thinking about the PSD in 2003 and took 2008 as the date of envisaged PSD-transposition; they'll end up with 2 years delay (if not more).

So which of the two is really slowing European integration down ?