The Euro Report Card

Sapiens International Corporation N.V. tabulated the results of its third quarterly survey on the state of euro migration among the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) of leading European Monetary Unit (EMU) corporations. The results revealed that more than 90 percent of CFOs polled believe that the common euro currency will positively impact e-commerce throughout the EMU.

Sapiens conducted this most recent edition of its "Euro Report Card" telephone poll at the close of the third quarter, as a continuation of its look at CFOs’ attitudes toward the new currency since its inception. The euro was introduced in January 1999 as the common currency among the 11 EMU countries.

Ninety-one percent of respondents believe the euro will have a positive impact on the spread of e-commerce throughout the EMU, as currency barriers are eliminated. While more than half the firms surveyed said they currently or soon will conduct business over the Internet (53%), nearly three-fourths of that number (73%) already have online offerings available in euro. Moreover, 51% of respondents said they are planning moves toward e-business that coincide with their euro migration.

"The euro’s natural advantages as a common currency is that it makes business more efficient and less costly," says Amir Barnea, Sapiens’ Euro Solution Manager. "These survey results tell us business believes the euro’s natural advantage goes hand-in-hand with electronic commerce, which itself is inherently a more efficient way to conduct business."

The percentage of companies using the euro for at least half of their transactions in the third quarter was 75%, up from 65% in the second quarter, according to the CFOs surveyed. Meanwhile, the percentage of firms using the euro exclusively for at least half of their transactions was 46%, up from 33% in the first quarter. Leading the way in the third quarter (with the highest percentage of transactions exclusively in the euro) were firms in Germany (71%), Italy (71%) and Austria (63%). At the other end of the spectrum, firms in The Netherlands conducted less than 20% of transactions exclusively in euro.

The survey revealed a rebound in psychological commitment to the new currency. In the third quarter, 67% of respondents said their companies had a 90% or higher psychological commitment to the euro. That contrasts with previous results: Only 48% in the second quarter and 77% in the first quarter. Meanwhile, regardless of their confidence level in the euro, only 4% of companies had not yet begun the migration process, down from 10% in the second quarter and 13% in the first quarter.

"It was a surprise when the second quarter data indicated such a large drop in commitment to the euro," says Barnea. "This now seems to have been transitory and may have stemmed from two reasons. The first may be because in the second quarter, the euro was at an all-time low, with respect to the dollar. Or perhaps it was that just as companies finished major parts of their Y2K conversion projects, they began to realize the full enormity of the investment required to convert systems to the euro."

The telephone poll asked CFOs of financial, manufacturing, utilities, publishing and other types of enterprises the following questions: What percentage of your organization’s financial transactions is currently occurring exclusively in the euro, and in dual currency? To what extent do you agree with the following statement: "Most companies will begin their main investment in euro migration as soon as the effects of Y2K efforts wind down"? Do you recommend to the UK and Sweden that they join the EMU, and on what time frame would you recommend a conversion period? What (on a scale of 1-100) is your organization’s psychological commitment to the euro at this early date? Does or will your business conduct any e-business now or within the next two years? Are your e-business offerings currently available in the euro? Are you planning any moves to e-business to coincide with or to follow your euro migration? Do you agree that one of the euro’s greatest benefits to the European economy is that it will lower barriers to the proliferation of e-business?

For more information, visit Sapiens’ Web site at