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Dematerialisation of business processes - in payments and beyond

The implementation of innovative electronic SEPA payment services based on global ISO standards streamlines making and receiving payments domestically or across the 32 SEPA countries. A payment, however, is only one of the last steps in the process of exchanging goods and services.

Dematerialisation of the business processes underlying trade, i.e. replacing paper-based procedures with standardised electronic solutions, transcends SEPA (as well as the scope of the EPC) and requires harmonisation in seve ral areas other than payments. Peter Potgieser argues that interoperability of such solutions currently being developed would significantly boost customers' readiness to embrace them whilst taking the concept of Straight-Through-Processing (STP) to a new level. He identifies the main developments taking place and calls on individual standard-setting bodies as well as service providers to adopt a broad perspective when designing solutions for specific interfaces linking the actors involved in a trade transaction. The concept of Straight-Through-Processing (STP), in his view, needs to be extended to cover the entire supply chain.

The SEPA payment instruments - one element of the financial supply chain

Whilst the achievements with regard to the harmonisation of SEPA payment transactions are impressive, it needs to be kept in mind that a payment transaction is usually the result of an interaction between a buyer and a seller; e.g. the exchange of goods and services. This process - commonly called trade - however, requires numerous interactions between the parties involved at different stages of the supply chain. In an advanced scenario of dematerialised business processes any of these manual, paper-based procedures would be replaced with electronic information exchange. Ideally, all standardised electronic solutions supporting the exchange of goods and services would perfectly match each other.

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Dimanche 31 Janvier 2010

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