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Single euro payments area from the retail banking perspective
Europe-wide cashless payments are soon set to become reality with the ‘single euro payments area’ (SEPA). In line with plans by the European Commission and the European Central Bank, from January 2008 bank customers in all EU countries will be able to make cross-border credit transfers, direct debit and card payments as easily and securely as they already do in their home countries. This paper will also outline the viewpoint on SEPA of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (group of German savings banks, Landesbanken and associated companies), who believe this transformation of cashless payment transactions must be customer-oriented — in other words private customer-oriented too — and improve rather than worsen the competitive landscape in Europe. As far as existing debit methods in Europe are concerned, the German banking industry views a network of competitive European systems working in collaboration with global methods as a viable solution for meeting the requirements of the SEPA Cards Framework (SCF).
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Bernd M. Fieseler has been an Executive Member of the Board at German Savings Banks Association (Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband, DSGV) since August 2001, where he is responsible for Operating Strategy. Previous positions include Director for Information and Operations at CC-Bank and Member of the Executive Board at CC-Holding (1997–2001); Director & Head of Organisation at BHF-Bank (1995–1997); Project Manager/Consultant at McKinsey & Company (1987–1995).