A 1994 EU survey revealed that the average time for executing cross-border payments is 4.8 working days. Averages in different member states range from 3 to 8 working days, depending on the country and institution involved. At the individual transaction level, time performance among a sample of 34 sender banks ranged from sme-day execution in eight cases to 21 working days in 2 cases.
93 percent of all EU companies have nine employees or fewer and simply cannot afford to trade across frontiers with the current obstacles to cross-border payments such as delays, double-charging and loss transfers. The cross-border component of all EU bank transfers currently accounts for only between one and two per cent of all EU bank transfers but would increase substantially if customers were offered better service and the costs were less prohibitive.