11 February 2016

Sepa migration deadline set at February 2014

21 December 2011  |  13416 views  |  2 Sepa

The European Parliament and Council have finally reached agreement on a deadline of February 2014 for the migration to Sepa credit transfers and direct debits.

The EC has long accepted the need to enforce migration deadlines from national credit transfers and direct debits to Sepa (Single Euro Payments Area) instruments, conceding self-regulation has failed to bring the move about quickly enough.

Last December the Commission set out its proposals for EU-wide end-dates, suggesting that once the regulation comes into force, national credit transfers be replaced by the pan European Sepa SCT within 12 months, with direct debits following after another year.

However, following pressure from, among others, the Parliament and the European Central Bank, the idea of separate deadlines has been ditched. Instead, a legally binding February 2014 date has been agreed by the EC and MEPs, and now awaits the rubber stamp of full Parliament and Council approval.

The Sepa deal to ensure EU-wide rules making payment service providers compete fairly, eliminate hidden national bank charges, and accelerate transfers, could save up to EUR123 billion within six years, claim MEPs, benefiting clients, banks, and businesses.

Sari Essayah, MEP, says: "The Sepa is a fundamental element of the internal market. The internal market cannot function well without Sepa. Moreover Sepa will provide the basis for other developments in the single market."

European Commissioner Michel Barnier adds: "By agreeing with the Commission proposal to fix a deadline for the migration to pan-European payment instruments just over a year after it was proposed, the European Parliament and the Council have risen to the ambitious challenge to increase the efficiency of our payment systems so that high-quality and competitively priced electronic payment products exist throughout the whole of the EU."

However, despite 2014 representing a significant delay to the initial targets for migration, it could still prove ambitious. At the Sibos banking conference in September, a straw poll of delegates conducted during a panel session found the naysayers on the floor held a slim majority over the optimists when asked whether 2014 could be met.

Vendor Experian was quick to welcome the decision, and also tout for business, with Jonathan Williams, director of payments strategy, warning: "Early adoption is crucial. If left to the last minute, the Sepa requirements have the potential to be both disruptive and costly. Banks and their corporate customers need to provide a smooth transitional process to Sepa in order to avoid costly errors and keep customers happy."

Comments: (2)

Bo Harald - ZEF and Real Time Economy Program - Helsinki region | 21 December, 2011, 10:09

This gives banks ample time to launch e-invoicing services using the ISO20022 message standard - automating handily the ISO20022 SEPA payments. This also drives SEPA-adoption in a natural way.  Banks should also integrate direct debit into e-invoicing - it makes no sense to not do it - enterprise customers can save so much with one integrated solution.


1 thumb up! 1 thumb up! (Log in to thumb up)
A Finextra member | 02 February, 2012, 09:42

Some Irish banks already refuse to process payments through their online banking systems to non-SEPA reachable financial institutions.

These banks include AIB Bank, they have already proved themselves dysfunctional in most areas but this is yet another incidence of them acting without thought or consequence for the customers or their reputation.

They have stated that if a beneficiary bank is not SEPA reachable now (rather then Feb 2014), they cannot process a payment to them after 3.30pm each day and they are incapable of holding the payment until the next day.

AIB Bank never fails to disappoint!


Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Comment on this story (membership required)
Log in to receive notifications when someone posts a comment

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board, sign up now.

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)

Related stories

22 November, 2011
03 November, 2011
19 September, 2011
22 August, 2011
14 July, 2011
16 June, 2011
08 April, 2011
14 March, 2011
16 December, 2010
29 November, 2010
01 November, 2010
22 October, 2010
10 June, 2010
07 June, 2010
28 May, 2010
01 October, 2009
21 July, 2009
09 June, 2009
01 May, 2009
28 January, 2008

Related company news


Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
UK sets out open banking API framework
12487 views comments | 87 tweets | 81 linkedin
Visa opens up to developers
9234 views comments | 25 tweets | 41 linkedin
European mobile banking service Pocopay go...
7732 views comments | 24 tweets | 14 linkedin
How to accelerate your fintech startup
6791 views comments | 31 tweets | 9 linkedin
Wearable payments startup Fit Pay secures...
6386 views comments | 26 tweets | 9 linkedin

Featured job

Find your next job