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School of Business | Department of Business Technology | Information Systems Science | 2010
Thesis number: 12438
SEPA changes and payment process reengineering in Finnish companies. Empirical evidence from six companies
Author: Finne, Emma
Title: SEPA changes and payment process reengineering in Finnish companies. Empirical evidence from six companies
Year: 2010  Language: eng
Department: Department of Business Technology
Academic subject: Information Systems Science
Index terms: tietojärjestelmät; information systems; yritykset; companies; taloushallinto; financial management; prosessit; processes; muutos; change; projektit; projects
Pages: 76
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12438.pdf pdf  size:703 KB (719286)
Key terms: SEPA; business process reengineering; BPR,; shared service center; IT project; payment instrument; case study
Research objectives and methods

This thesis studies the effects of SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) on Finnish companies. SEPA is a project of the 27 EU member countries and five other European countries. With SEPA all euro payments will be treated as domestic payments, and the current differentiation between national and cross-border payments will cease. SEPA will bring benefits to companies, but they also have to make some changes in order to become SEPA compliant. The research objective is to find out how companies are preparing for SEPA and if SEPA is an opportunity for companies to reengineer their payment processes.

The thesis includes a literature review of business process reengineering (BPR) as well as an empirical research of SEPA in Finnish companies. Cases study research method is used for the research, in which five major Finnish companies and one SME are interviewed. Though the main scope of the research is major companies, one SME was also interviewed to be able to compare SEPA effects in small and large companies.

Findings of the research

The findings of the research were that the companies thought SEPA offered possibilities for gaining benefits through reengineering payment processes. Most of the companies interviewed had though already started to centralize their payments handling and therefore had no need for further BPR because of SEPA. In several interviewed companies payments were centralized to a shared service center. The interviewed major companies usually had had a SEPA project, in which the required SEPA changes to their ERPs were done. Those companies saw SEPA at the moment as an IT project, but also thought that in the future the benefits of SEPA (e.g. centralization of payments and cash collection, consolidating banking connections) could be realized. In the SME interviewed SEPA did not require great changes, and they thought SEPA was something that IT providers should take care of and not companies. SEPA credit transfer was the only SEPA payment instrument all interviewed companies were going to start using, as for example SEPA direct debit was only going to be used in one company.
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