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Can We Tolerate Tolerance of SEPA?

I was musing the other day, as you do in the dog days of summer, on the difference between tolerance and toleration. And the difference, I found, is more than just nominal.

‘Tolerance’ can be defined as a general disposition of mind which is inclined to tolerate a line of action, for example, of which one does not really approve. ‘Toleration’, on the other hand, refers to the act of permitting or enduring something without attempting to prevent it. In other words, ‘tolerance’ is more habitual and constant, while ‘toleration’ tends to be more specific.

And as my musings continued (well, the summer is dragging on), I began to wonder whether the reaction of the payments industry to SEPA to date is toleration or tolerance. Are the banks by nature generally disposed to tolerate whatever the politicians throw at them and then fall in line half-heartedly, or is there something specific about SEPA that they feel they are having to endure? And if it is a question of just enduring it, why haven’t they tried to prevent it by coming up with a better plan?

The fact is that SEPA is the only game in town for European payments right now, and could deliver real, tangible benefits if only we could get past the tolerance/toleration frame of mind.

Paul Styles

Product Marketing Manager - Wholesale Payments

ACI Worldwide