Finally, Sepa migration deadline day arrives

Finally, Sepa migration deadline day arrives

After a 15 year slog, the Single euro payments area (Sepa) hits a major milestone today with the full implementation for credit transfers and direct debits in the euro area.

1 August marks the (delayed) migration deadline for processing Sepa-compliant payment transfers, meaning that more than 500 million citizens and 20 million businesses can use a single bank account for all euro credit transfers and direct debits in Europe. Countries outside the euro area have until 31 October 2016 to migrate.

Authorities hope that Sepa will give a significant economic boost to Europe, enabling businesses to expand into new markets without extra payment costs. Every month more than two billion payments will now flow across the euro area in new standardised formats in what the European Central Bank calls the one of the largest financial integration projects in the world.

Yves Mersch, executive board member, ECB, says: "The successful completion of Sepa further accelerates Europe's financial integration. It removes barriers to credit transfers and direct debits which will no longer impede businesses or consumers."

However, the Sepa story is far from over - the ECB has already turned its attentions to the harmonisation of the largest electronic retail payment instrument: cards. Meanwhile, a newly-convened Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) has set up two working groups to explore the role of mobile and 'innovative' payments methods.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 01 August, 2014, 21:233 likes 3 likes Good news for SEPA, but such a shame it has taken 15 years to get to where we are today. Sadly the rest of the world has moved on, real time payments and mobile payments are taking over now. The EU really has to take more proactive action to move forward. 15 years to achieve this amount of innovation in the modern world is quite simple not good enough. It will be interesting to see the business outcomes and real benefits achieved from SEPA as it develops. How much benefit can be derived from cross border? Will consumers notice the difference? Early indications all point to the large corporations being the biggest benefactors. Banks have taken a big cost on board to deliver this. Let's hope SEPA can now deliver a proper real time architecture and catch up with the market leaders. The problem will, as always, be to get everyone on the same page on how to do it.
Barry Kislingbury
Barry Kislingbury - ACI Worldwide - London 04 August, 2014, 12:292 likes 2 likes

Spot on Tim, real time / faster payments is the target now, lets hope it does not take another 15 years for Europe to catch up with the rest of the world.