The European Payments Council has postponed the migration of Sepa payment schemes to the 2019 version of ISO 20022 by four months, to March, after concluding that "at least two large Sepa countries" couldn't be guaranteed to make the original November deadline.
Four schemes - Sepa Credit Transfer, Sepa Instant Credit Transfer, Sepa Direct Debit Core, and SDD Business-to-Business - were slated to migrate on 19 November.
However, the EPC says that after talking to participants it has concluded that operational delays and the need for additional testing means that some counties are not ready.
Pushing ahead with the original date would not only have affected payment service providers within these counties but also cross-border Sepa transactions, with potential knock-on effects for the whole region.
Therefore, while being "fully aware of the implications of this decision," a new migration date has been set for 17 March 2024.
Giorgio Andreoli, director general, EPC, says: "We thank the Sepa payment scheme participants and CSMs which were properly prepared for the migration, but the reachability, stability and integrity of the SEPA payment schemes is our highest priority.
"The PSP communities and all stakeholders may be reassured that the EPC will take every possible measure to secure the success of the migration in the new proposed date."