Don't Count on 1 August 2014: Different SEPA Migration Deadlines Apply...

Don't Count on 1 August 2014: Different SEPA Migration Deadlines Apply Across the Euro Area During the “Additional Transition Period” Agreed by the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU Governments

EPC recommends that organisations in the euro area still working towards achieving SEPA readiness complete the migration process as soon as possible

21 October 14

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Number of payment service providers in the Single Euro Payments Area () offering Credit Transfer services

The European Payments Council () launched the Credit Transfer () Scheme in January 2008. As of April 2014, 4,614 payment service providers () offer services. The Participant Register, which lists the scheme participants, is publicly available at http://epc.cbnet.info/content/adherence_database.

Number of in offering Direct Debit services

The launched the Direct Debit (SDD) Core Scheme and the SDD Business to Business (B2B) Scheme in November 2009. As of April 2014, 3,939 have signed up to the Scheme. As of April 2014, 3,491 also adhere to the Scheme. The separate Participant Registers for the and Schemes list the participants taking part in these schemes. These registers are publicly available at http://epc.cbnet.info/content/adherence_database. All branches of in the euro area reachable for direct debits at national level must be reachable for cross-border direct debits, e.g. the Scheme, since 1 November 2010 as mandated by Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 on cross-border payments in the Community.

European Central Bank quantitative indicators measure the share of and SDD transactions

The quantitative indicators published on the European Central Bank (ECB) Website (see ‘related links’ below) measure the share of and SDD transactions as a percentage of the total volume of credit transfers and direct debits generated by bank customers in the euro area. According to the quantitative indicators, the share of transactions amounts to 95.7 percent as of March 2014, while the share of SDD transactions has reached 82.6 percent.

Different migration deadlines apply across the euro area during the “additional transition period” agreed by the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU governments

On 9 January 2014, the European Commission (the Commission) introduced a legislative proposal for a new EU Regulation amending ‘Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro’ (the Regulation) (see ‘related links’ below) to “give an extra transition period of six months during which payments which differ from the format can still be accepted” in the euro area after 1 February 2014.

In February 2014, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU1, respectively, adopted the new ‘Regulation () No 248/2014 amending Regulation () No 260/2012 as regards the migration to Union-wide credit transfers and direct debits’ (see ‘related links’ below). This new Regulation states, among other things (italics added): “In Article 16 of Regulation () No 260/2012, paragraph 1 is replaced by the following: (...) By way of derogation from Article 6(1) and (2), may continue, until 1 August 2014, to process payment transactions in euro in formats that are different from those required for credit transfers and direct debits pursuant to this Regulation. [EU] Member States shall apply the rules on the penalties applicable to infringements of Article 6(1) and (2) (…) from 2 August 2014.” Regulation (EU) No 248/2014 entered into force on 21 March 2014. It applies, with retroactive effect, from 31 January 2014. For a detailed legal analysis on the subject, refer to the article, entitled ‘Migrating Deadlines: Pushing Back the Migration Date for Credit Transfers and Direct Debits. Will the Amending Regulation cause great confusion in the European payments market?’ (see ‘related articles in this issue’ below).

Different euro area countries have decided on different timelines during which they will make use of the option to continue processing non- formats (i.e. some countries do so during the full six months transition period agreed by the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU while others have opted for a shorter timeline). The ECB makes available country-specific information with ‘Fact Sheets on Regulation 260/2012’ (see ‘related links’ below). These fact sheets now also feature information obtained from Eurosystem national central banks concerning migration timelines envisaged at national level in each euro area country during the additional transition period. (The Eurosystem comprises the ECB and the national central banks of the EU Member States whose currency is the euro.) Figure 1 details the migration timelines applicable in the euro area until 1 August 2014 based on the fact sheets published by the ECB.

Figure 1: Migration timelines applicable in the euro area until 1 August 2014. (Source: ECB.)

Euro area country Additional transition period Applicable to Agreed / defined by Further information
Austria 1 August 2014

In principle each may decide to continue processing payment transactions in euro in legacy formats until 1 August 2014

Standing orders: as of 1 February 2014 only transactions in formats are accepted by the banks

Paper-based credit transfers: are accepted in the legacy format until 1 August 2014 by all banks

Austrian Payments Council N/A (not applicable)
Belgium 1 April 2014 credit transfers and direct debits Febelfin & CEC No new mandates for legacy direct debits nor new creditor identifiers for legacy direct debits from 1 February 2014
Cyprus 1 August 2014 Direct debits of certain big billers and on-us transactions Agreed between Central Bank of Cyprus and banks N/A
Estonia N/A N/A N/A N/A
Finland N/A N/A N/A N/A
France 1 August 2014 Credit Transfers and Direct Debits French national Committee N/A
Germany 1 August 2014 Each may decide to continue processing payment transactions in euro in legacy formats until 1 August 2014, except for the direct debit format “Abbuchungsauftrags-lastschriftverfahren” which will be discontinued on 1 February 2014 German Banking Industry Committee Corporates, clubs and institutions are encouraged to finish migration by 1 February 2014, according to the migration end-date regulation (Regulation 260/2012)
Greece 1 August 2014 Direct debits of certain big billers and on-us (non-bulk) credit transfers Agreed between Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Banking Association N/A
Ireland 31 March 2014 All credit transfer and direct debit payments Defined by the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) and agreed with the Central Bank of Ireland N/A
Italy None Legacy direct debits and credit transfers can be accepted by only in exceptional circumstances that will be monitored by Banca d’Italia Banca d’Italia N/A
Latvia Latvia joined the euro area on 1 January 2014 with a specific migration timeline according to Regulation (EU) No 260/2012, namely 1 January 2015. However, Latvia completed migration to well in advance by 1 January 2014.
Luxembourg 1 February 2014 for credit transfers and 31 July 2014 for direct debits Direct Debit Bankers’ association and members of the national domestic scheme (legacy) Collections accepted in the legacy scheme, for existing mandates only. No new creditor and no new mandate accepted in the legacy scheme
Malta       The Central Bank of Malta issued a press release on 1 April 2014 announcing the extension, locally, of the migration end-date for SCTs by three months until 1 May 2014 and by six months for SDDs until 1 August 20142
Netherlands 1 August 2014 NL credit transfers and NL direct debits; BBAN for consumers National Forum on Migration Transition period not necessary to complete migration on formal end date
Portugal 1 August 2014 Legacy credit transfer and direct debit schemes of the Portuguese Clearing System (SICOI) Banco de Portugal N/A
Slovakia None N/A N/A N/A
Slovenia 1 August 2014 N/A N/A Amended end-date regulation directly applicable
Spain 18 March 2014 for credit transfers and 10 June 2014 for direct debits Credit transfers and direct debits N/A The Spanish ACH (SNCE) has agreed to stop processing legacy credit transfers on 18 March 2014 and legacy direct debits on 10 June 2014

 

recommends that organisations in the euro area still working towards achieving compliance aim to finalise the migration process as soon as possible

The recommends that organisations in the euro area still working towards achieving compliance with the Regulation aim to finalise the migration process as soon as possible. Banks and other service providers are standing ready to support payment service users to complete the transition. Relevant information is also made available with ‘The Migration Tool Kit’ (see ‘related links’ below).

The 1 August 2014 deadline is fast approaching however, this date does not mark the end of the migration process. The following deadlines also apply:

1 February 2016:

  • Transitional arrangements in Member States: the Regulation has introduced several possible exemptions regarding the use of the International Bank Account Number (IBAN), the Business Identifier Code (BIC) and the ISO 20022 XML message standards by the February 2014 deadline. Member States have discretion as to whether they will use any or all of the options to derogate from the 1 February 2014 deadline (until 1 February 2016) with regard to the use of the IBAN, the BIC and the ISO 20022 XML message standards by payment service users.
  • Niche products: The Regulation also stipulates that credit transfer and direct debit transactions with a cumulative market share of less than 10 percent in an Member State must comply with the provisions set out in this legislative act only by 1 February 2016. Information on transitional arrangements chosen by individual Member States is also included with the ‘fact sheets’ made available by the ECB mentioned above. Also the Commission has published a list detailing the ‘Usage of Member State Options’. (See ‘related links’ below.)

31 October 2016:

  • Non-euro countries will have to comply with the Regulation by 31 October 2016.

It is important that, following 1 August 2014, countries in- and outside of the euro area do not overlook these other deadlines, but rather actively prepare to ensure that they are ready to meet them on time.

for cards

As reported in previous issues of the Newsletter, good progress has been achieved in the realisation of for cards. The 's Cards Framework (SCF) outlines high level principles and rules that when implemented by the card industry, will deliver a consistent user experience to both cardholders and merchants when making or accepting euro payments or cash withdrawals. The SCF recognises the EMV standard for -wide acceptance of card payments. EMV is an industry standard to implement chip and personal identification number (PIN) security for card transactions to combat fraud. An important indicator on the progress in this area is the number of cards, points of sale (POS) and automated teller machines (ATMs) in the market that use chip and PIN for the authorisation of a card payment. Migration to EMV in Europe is essentially complete: at the end of 2011 (estimates), 87.2 percent of cards, 94.2 percent of POS and 96.7 percent of ATMs in were EMV-compliant (latest estimates available). According to the ECB indicators (http://www.ecb.europa.eu/paym/sepa/about/indicators/html/index.en.html), EMV transactions in the euro area (as a percentage of total transactions at POS terminals) reached 79.22 percent in December 2013 (latest data available).

Etienne Goosse is the Secretary General.

 

Related links:

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 

Regulation (EU) No 248/2014 amending Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 as regards the migration to Union-wide credit transfers and direct debits 

European Central Bank Website: ‘Fact Sheets on Regulation 260/2012’ (information on migration timelines envisaged in euro area countries until 1 August 2014) 

European Commission Website: see PDF, entitled: ‘Usage of Member States options’ (Article 16) / items posted on 23.07.2013 

European Central Bank Quantitative SEPA Indicators (SEPA Credit Transfer, SEPA Direct Debit, SEPA for Cards) 

The EPC Migration Tool Kit: Get Ready for SEPA 

 

Related articles in this issue:

Migrating Deadlines: Pushing Back the Migration Date for SEPA Credit Transfers and Direct Debits. Will the Amending Regulation cause great confusion in the European payments market?

AkzoNobel: “We Have Already Seen a Return on Our Investment into SEPA Migration through the Benefits We Have Received”. AkzoNobel began using IBAN in 2010 and fully launched its SEPA implementation programme in October 2012 in readiness of the February 2014 deadline

 

Related articles in previous issues:

Newsletter: Articles Published in the Section ‘SEPA Migration’

Newsletter: Case Studies Highlighting Successful SEPA Migration Projects of Bank Customers 

Newsletter: Articles Published in the Section ‘Get Ready for SEPA’ 

 

The Council of the is the institution where the national Member States’ government representatives sit, i.e. the ministers of each Member State with responsibility for a given policy area.

The information for Malta included in figure 1 (fifth column) cites the press release issued by the Central Bank of Malta on 1 April 2014 http://www.centralbankmalta.org/site/pr1main.asp?ItemId=771.



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