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Eurogiro - Your Global Payments Community



Eurogiro is a unique payments network that connects different payments "ecosystems", e.g. postal organisations, post banks, commercial banks and other payment service providers, focusing on cross border high volume - low value payments.

Eurogiro facilitates members' cooperation in the field of international payments and offers efficient solutions supporting their offering to clients. Thereby Eurogiro helps increasing the business of its members.

To learn more, contact us at [email protected] or read What Eurogiro can do for you.


 

Eurogiro in brief by Mr Sanjay Sharma

 

Mr Sanjay Sharma is welcomed as one of the new members of the Eurogiro Board. Sanjay is COO and a member of the Managing Board of BAWAG P.S.K. He brings to the Board his expertise in operations, technology and strategic planning from the banking industry and represents a Eurogiro member institution that has evolved significantly since it emerged as the world's first bank, Österreichische Postsparkasse, offering paperless money transfer. In this interview he expresses his views on the aspirations and challenges of Eurogiro.

 

SSanjay
Sanjay Sharma, COO and member of the Managing Board of BAWAG P.S.K.

The payments market and Eurogiro have changed dramatically since the Postsparkasse of Austria participated in the founding of Eurogiro. What do you regard as the greatest achievements of Eurogiro and what should Eurogiro focus on to meet the challenges of tomorrow ?
The strength of Eurogiro is that it brings together banks and postal organisations with similar background and interests. By doing so it offers BAWAG P.S.K., and every other Eurogiro member bank, a global, worldwide reach. But whilst there are many associations and communities that claim to do exactly this, there is one distinctive feature that Eurogiro has to offer. It is the common culture and background driven by the connection to the postal network, which really brings alive the Eurogiro community.

 

The main challenge I see for Eurogiro, as for any other player in the payments industry, is how it copes and evolves with the changes in this sector. The payments industry is changing rapidly, with new players and new business models evolving with ever-increasing speed. I believe that in such a fast-paced industry, Eurogiro should leverage its core strengths whilst continuing to expand its international reach - connecting banks and postal organisations with an unparalleled service offering.

You represent an organisation that has gone through many changes since its beginnings as a postal savings bank in 1882, and also an organisation that sees its cross-border payments business changing dramatically due to, for instance, the emergence of SEPA. What are your main challenges today and how do you see the value of the Eurogiro membership for BAWAG P.S.K. now ? 
Given the rapidly changing environment, it is all too easy to lose sight of the real business, which is offering services that really fulfill the needs of our customers. BAWAG P.S.K. is investing significantly in the co-operation with Austrian Post. The bank is rolling out 520 newly-refurbished joint branches with full self-service capabilities, where we offer our clients a convenient combination of all banking services and the full range of postal services, all under one roof. This gives BAWAG P.S.K. Austria's largest, centrally co-ordinated branch network with a very special feature and a unique opportunity that no other Austrian bank has: most of the people coming into our branch, are not yet our customers, but only Post customers. This fits into the bank's overall strategy to offer full multi-channel capability - e-commerce capability including e-banking and mobile banking, branch-based banking, self service and direct banking via call centres. We are well on the way to realising this ambitious strategic intent. Specifically, on payments, BAWAG P.S.K. is among the leading banks in Austria in payment services and is the sole processor for all payments of the republic of Austria. For us, stability of the payments platform and service is of utmost importance. Eurogiro continues to, and will remain strategic to the bank, given its roots and unique services that it supports the bank with, for exampe, cash-out payments.

Partnerships have been very important in the history of Eurogiro, such as Western Union and SWIFT. What about partnerships in the future ?
Western Union is a great example of an important partnership for BAWAG P.S.K. Eurogiro offers us here a platform to ensure that BAWAG P.S.K. and our customers get the best possible services at a competitive price. Partnerships, to maximize the value, are becoming even more important given current market conditions, growing regulatory requirements and pressures on margins. The partnerships that are not just about efficiently operating existing services but more about jointly developing new ideas, would become even more important. And this kind of co-operation requires that the partners have a similar background and understanding of issues; a requirement that Eurogiro, with its background, meets very well.  

Today, the strongest growth in the Eurogiro business is within Asia and into Asia; how do you see Eurogiro best positioning itself to take a role in this development ?
Although BAWAG P.S.K. business is restricted to largely Europe, I clearly see the strategic need for Eurogiro to expand internationally and in particular in Asia. The successes of Eurogiro can be transported to Asia although compliance issues and customer proximity would be key challenges.

 

The payments industry is developing rapidly with increasing competition from existing and new types of providers. What could be the role and opportunities for, in particular, postal organisations in this market ?
Yes, it is right that the payments industry is changing and evolving rapidly; opening up new channels (e.g., mobile phones), smarter and cheaper ways to transfer money (e.g., PayPal) or breaking the traditional model (e.g., Square). Having said that, postal organisations have a unique feature - they are ubiquitous - they are everywhere, an essential part of our daily life. Even in the digital world, it's the post that delivers the online purchase. Eurogiro with its unique position to provide a link between the banks and postal organisations, offers a unique advantage to its members.

 

Finally, how would you like to influence the Eurogiro of the future ?
Eurogiro would need to stay on course to expand internationally and broaden its network; at the same time it would need to strenghten its partnerships Both these are part of Eurogiro's plans and I would like to continue to support the development of Eurogiro towards these two fundamental pillars.




 

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