The impact of the distributed ledger technology on the Single Euro Payments Area development


  • Elżbieta Jantoń-Drozdowska Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
  • Alicja Mikołajewicz-Woźniak Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań



SEPA, blockchain, distributed ledger technology, virtual currencies, financial integration


Research background: The year 2016 ended the period of the migration from national payment services to the SEPA instruments. At the same time, however, it has become apparent that some problems remained unresolved. Overcoming them requires finding suitable technological solutions. The potential of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) is currently being explored by the financial sector and its implementation may affect the SEPA schemes in a variety of dimensions.

Purpose of the article: The aim of the article was to determine the potential impact that the DLT transfer to the banking sector may have on the functioning of the SEPA in the future. The paper presents SEPA?s assumptions and the current status of the project as well as the DTL?s concept.  It describes the technology transfer implications for the banking industry and compares the SEPA schemes currently operating with those based on the DLT. It also indicates the opportunities and threats that are the consequence of the new technology implementation and examines their significance for the SEPA.

Methods: In the article, a qualitative analysis is supplemented with a quantitative one. Elements of descriptive statistics have been used to characterize the functioning of the main pillars of the SEPA schemes.  The final conclusions are based on the comparative analysis of the SEPA schemes and developed DLT applications.

Findings & value added: The existing problems might be solved by supplementing the SEPA payment schemes currently operating with the applications based on the DLT. The systems that will be subsequently developed will provide the required real-time processing and a global reach. They will also extend the functionalities of the SEPA schemes with the ability to transfer other currencies. The implementation of this technology will result not only in new financial products but, first of all, in creating new business models. Consequently, we may expect a modification of the currently operating SEPA schemes, based on their supplementation rather than total replacement in a short time frame.


Download data is not yet available.


Ali, R. Ali, Barrdear, J. Clews, R., & Southgate, J. (2014). Innovations in payment technologies and the emergence of digital currencies. Bank of England Quar-terly Bulletin, 54(3).
Banque de France. (2016). The Banque de France is conducting an interbank blockchain experiment. Retrieved from (14.01.2017).
Euro Banking Association. (2015). Cryptotechnologies, a major IT innovation and catalyst for change: 4 categories, 4 applications and 4 scenarios. An explora-tion for transaction banking and payment professionals, EBA Working Group on Electronic and Alternative Payments. Retrieved from nologies_a_major_IT_innovation_v1_0.pdf (2.01.2017).
European Central Bank. (1999). Improving cross-border retail payment services ? the Eurosystem?s view. Retrieved from pdf/other/retailpsen.pdf (22.12.2016).
European Central Bank (2016a). Distributed ledger technology. In Focus, 1. Re-trieved from _dlt.pdf (20.12.2016).
European Central Bank (2016b). Payments statistics. Retrieved from (15.12.2016).
European Payments Council (2015). Criteria for participation in the SEPA schemes for communities of banks or financial institutions outside the Europe-an Economic Area (EEA). Retrieved from http://www.europeanpaymentscoun (22.12.2016).
European Payments Council (2017). A new area in payments. Launch of the SEPA instant credit transfer scheme. Retrieved from http://www.europeanpayme a-in-payments-launch-of-the-sepa-instant-credit-transfer-scheme/epc278-16info graphicsct-instnov-2016final/ (15.01.2017).
Fanning, K., & Centers, D. P. (2016). Blockchain and its coming impact on finan-cial services. Journal of Corporate Accounting & Finance, 27(5). doi: 10.1002/jcaf.22179.
Garcia, R. (2015). How to use blockchain technology to develop faster and cheaper inter-banking infrastructures. European Payment Council Newsletter, 26. Retrieved from /article/?articlesuuid=CBE8C9BC-5056-B741-DBA06DFE6ABA5E0C (21.12.2016).
He, D., Habermeier, K., Leckow, R., Haksar, V., Almeida, Y., Kashima, M., Kyr-iakos-Saad, N., Oura, H., Saadi Sedik, T., Stetsenko, N., & Verdugo-Yepes, C. (2016). Virtual currencies and beyond. Initial considerations. IMF Staff Discus-sion Note, 7.
Jantoń-Drozdowska, E. (1998). Integration with the European Union: implications for the Polish banking sector. In E. Miklaszewska (Ed.). Global tendencies and changes in East European banking. Kraków: The Jagiellonian University.
Kokkola, T. (Ed.) (2010). The payment system. Payments, securities and deriva-tives, and the role of the Eurosystem. European Central Bank. Retrieved from (2.01.2017).
Mai, H. (2015). Instant revolution of payments? Deutsche Bank Research. Re-trieved from (27.12.2016).
Martikainen, E., Schmiedel, H., & Takalo, T. (2016). Convergence of European payments. Journal of Banking & Finance, 50. doi: 10.1016/j.jbankfin. 2014.09.021.
Mersch, Y. (2016). Distributed ledger technology: role and relevance of the ECB. Retrieved from 06.en.html (23.12.2016).
Mikołajewicz-Woźniak, A., & Scheibe, A. (2015). Virtual currency schemes ? the future of financial services. Foresight, 17 (4). doi: 10.1108/FS-04-2014-0021.
Pinna, A., & Ruttenberg, W. (2016). Distributed ledger technologies in securities post trading. EBC Occasional Paper 172.
PwC (2014). Economic analysis of SEPA. Benefits and opportunities ready to be unlocked by stakeholders. European Union. doi: 10.2780/21845.
Silva, V. G., Ramalho, E. A., & Vieira, C. R. (2016). The impact of SEPA in credit transfer payments: evidence from the euro area. Research in International Business and Finance, 38. doi: 10.1016/j.ribaf.2016.04.013.
Underwood, S. (2016). Blockchain beyond Bitcoin. Communications of the ACM, 59(11). doi: 10.1145/2994581.
World Economic Forum (2016a). The future of financial infrastructure. An ambi-tious look at how blockchain can reshape financial services. Future financial services series. Retrieved from re_of_financial_infrastructure.pdf (12.01.2017).
World Economic Forum (2016b). Top 10 technologies of 2016. Retrieved from (12.01.2017).
Yli-Huumo, J., Ko, D., Choi, S., Park, S., & Smolander, K. (2016). Where is current research on blockchain technology??A systematic review. PLoS ONE 11(10). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163477.




How to Cite

Jantoń-Drozdowska, E., & Mikołajewicz-Woźniak, A. (2017). The impact of the distributed ledger technology on the Single Euro Payments Area development. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 12(3), 519?535.



Determinants of baking sectors effectiveness

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.