SEPA Benefits for Customers
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) benefits, first and foremost, bank customers including consumers, businesses and public administrations. Once SEPA is achieved, it will be possible to exchange euro payments between any accounts within SEPA as easily as it is within national borders today.
The implementation of innovative and competitive SEPA payment services translates into efficiency gains for businesses and public administrations. Common standards, faster settlement and simplified processing will improve cash flow, reduce costs and facilitate access to new markets. Consumers can rely on a single set of euro payment instruments covering 32 countries: one bank account, one bank card, one SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and one SEPA Direct Debit (SDD). Moreover, customers will enjoy benefits resulting from increased competition in the payments market. According to a study conducted at the request of the European Commission, the replacement of existing national payment systems by SEPA holds a market potential of up to 123 billion euros in benefits, cumulative over six years and benefitting the users of payment services (see 'SEPA: Potential Benefits at Stake' below).
Payment service users are an important partner in the process of making SEPA a reality
The European Payments Council (EPC) invites all stakeholders to take advantage of the numerous communication and consultation platforms offered by the EPC. The EPC Website, the EPC Newsletter and EPC social media platforms make available comprehensive, regular and timely information on all EPC activities and are designed to encourage stakeholders to directly engage with the EPC.
The EPC calls on all stakeholders to participate in the annual change management cycle with regard to the evolution of the SCT and SDD Schemes. The EPC scheme change management process provides all stakeholders with the opportunity to introduce suggestions for modifications to the schemes and to take part in the annual three-month public consultation on updates to be incorporated into the scheme rulebooks. To learn more about the term 'SEPA payment scheme', refer to this dedicated page on the EPC Website: What is a Payment Scheme? For details on how to engage in the EPC scheme change management process, refer to this dedicated page on the EPC Website: SCT / SDD Rulebook Release Management and Scheme Development. The EPC publishes all input and feedback received from SEPA stakeholders on the EPC Website (see link to 'EPC Consultations' below).
How can I learn more?
The EPC makes available publications, videos and podcasts responding to the information needs of specific stakeholder communities with regard to SEPA (see below). To keep up-to-date with latest developments, sign-up for the free quarterly online EPC Newsletter, also available in full, on the EPC Website.
Get ready for SEPA. Act now!
EU Regulation defines mandatory deadlines for migration to SEPA
In February 2012, the European legislator adopted the 'Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009' (the SEPA Regulation), which defines 1 February 2014 as the deadline in the euro area for compliance with the core provisions of this Regulation. In non euro countries, the deadline will be 31 October 2016. Effectively, this means that as of these dates, existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by SCT and SDD. For more information on the SEPA Regulation, refer to this dedicated page on the EPC Website: SEPA Legal and Regulatory Framework.
The SEPA Regulation affects not only payment service providers, but also payment service users (PSUs) such as corporates, small and medium sized enterprises, public administrations and government agencies. It is strongly recommended that PSUs analyse the impact of the SEPA Regulation on their operational models now. The experience of early movers on the demand side handling major payment volumes indicates that migration to SEPA Schemes and technical standards is beneficial but requires careful planning. The relevant actions and resources should be identified immediately. For more information, visit this dedicated page on the EPC Website: The EPC Migration Tool Kit: Get Ready for SEPA by 1.2.2014. Act Now!.
Selection of articles from the EPC Newsletter and other sources
- SEPA Regulation published in Official Journal of the European Union. This Regulation Effectively Mandates Migration to SEPA by 1 February 2014 in the Euro Area
- Free EPC Newsletter
- EPC Consultations
- EPC Video: An Introduction to SEPA
- EPC Video: SEPA for Billers. This Film Highlights Aspects Relevant for Businesses and Public Entities Transitioning to SEPA
- EPC Video: The IBAN - Your New Best Friend. A brief introduction to the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and the Business Identifier Code (BIC)
- EPC Blog Series: Get Ready for SEPA by February 2014. Early Movers on the Customer Side Share Lessons Learnt
- EPC Newsletter: Case Studies Highlighting Successful SEPA Migration Projects of Bank Customers
- SEPA: Potential Benefits at Stake. Researching the Impact of SEPA on the Payments Market and its Stakeholders (Capgemini)
- EPC Publication: SEPA for Consumers