SINGLE EURO PAYMENTS AREA
We are today reaching the deadline to comply with the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) standards, aiming to treat all euro payments as domestic payments.
The initiative of the EU governments, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB), to create integrated payment instruments across Europe for any organization or individual making or receiving payments in euro's has to be running by the beginning of August.
Among the main changes introduced by the SEPA system you can find:
8 digit bank account numbers replaced by the IBAN number.
Payment files submitted to banks must use ISO 2OO22 XML format.
Direct debit agreements have to be converted into SEPA.
Given the current low migration rates for credit transfer and direct debit, the European Commission has introduced an additional transition period of six months to the deadline for the SEPA migration. The former deadline at February 1st 2014 has not however been modified but banks will be able to process payments that differ from SEPA standards during the six following months after the deadline.
By August 1st 2014 payment orders that do not comply with the legal requirements as laid down in the SEPA Migration End-date Regulation will not be allowed to be processed by payment service providers. Banks will only be able to accept SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits from that date onwards
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
European Commission: ec.europa.eu/internal_market/payments/
European Central Bank: http://www.ecb.int/paym/sepa/
European Payments Council: http://www.europeanpaymentscouncil.eu/
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