[Dave Birch] Unlike many of you, I am very fortunate to have access to a) a euro bank account and b) someone that I can ask to waste their time on payment-related lunacy. Put these two things together and a SEPA experiment was born: I decided to celebrate the birth of the SEPA zone and send some euros to one of our Forum friends in the Netherlands, thus becoming (I hope) the first blogger to originate a SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT).
Well, my plan fell at the first hurdle because according to our bank (who shall not be named in this piece, but it's one of the U.K.'s big four) "SEPA transfers are not available online". Yes, that' s right. Getrude's dream of a friction-free payments landscape was in tatters, and it was only day 1. Someone had to physically go to the bank in order to do a SEPA Credit Transfer.
Most normal consumers would, of course, have given up at this point and forgotten about the whole SEPA thing. But I'm not a normal consumer. I have a responsibility to Digital Money Denizens and will leave no stone unturned, no path untravelled in order to send some euros to Amsterdam. So I sent someone down to the bank (not because I was lazy, but because I was out of the country).
She came back with a paper form to fill out. This was done, and the form was returned to the bank on a Tuesday, and on Friday I received confirmation from my Dutch colleague that the money had arrived in this account,
So, in summary, sending 50 euros to Amsterdam in the exciting new world of SEPA took two trips to the bank, cost £15 (ie, a transaction fee of 40%) and took three days. Next time, I'll use PayPal.
These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]