SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area) is a political but also industrial ambition of the European Publics Authorities, relayed by banks, which contributes by various aspects to the European banking harmonization, at least at the ruling level. But, it leaves in the way many essential components for an unified payment economy, and let a feeling of what some people had qualified as « confusion ».
The article lists the main steps in the « long march » of the European Publics Authorities, for twenty years. It attempts to describe the double European ambition, and try to show what was done with the Payment Directives and SEPA, and what stay in the way. But it try also to point the huge gap between the political approach and the operational and industrial dimensions, and suggests that the regulatory constraint is not the only way for unifying the payment market. It seeks to identify means and ways for a win-win progress, for banks and European Publics Authorities.