The majority of market participants recognise the value of setting a deadline for migration to the Credit Transfer () and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Schemes developed by the European Payments Council () at the request of European authorities and in close dialogue with customer representatives. The EPC shares the view that an end date for phasing out legacy euro payment schemes for credit transfers and direct debits ensures planning security for all market participants.
In December 2010, the European Commission published a proposal for a Regulation establishing technical requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euros and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009. This legislative initiative is commonly referred to as the forthcoming SEPA Regulation expected to also define mandatory deadlines for migration to harmonised European payment schemes. The European Commission proposes to set separate deadlines for migration to European credit transfer and direct debit schemes. It states in its SEPA Regulation proposal that credit transfers will have to comply with the technical requirements twelve months after the Regulation coming into force; direct debits will have to comply 24 months after entry into force. The EPC advocates setting one end date at European Union (EU) level for migration to SCT and SDD. This would spare bank customers such as businesses and public administrations the duplication of implementation efforts and required resources.
The European Commission proposal for a SEPA Regulation was reviewed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) of the European Parliament and the European Council representing EU Member States during the first half of 2011. The EPC welcomes that the members of the European Parliament represented in the ECON also suggest setting one end date. According to the ECON, both euro credit transfers and direct debits should comply with the forthcoming SEPA Regulation 24 months after this Regulation comes into force.
In a next step, the European Parliament together with the European Council representing EU Member States and the European Commission will engage in a trialogue on the forthcoming SEPA Regulation which is expected to be adopted in 2011. One open question these institutions must resolve is this: will the Regulation establish one or two separate end date(s) for migration to harmonised European credit transfer and direct debit schemes?
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For more information and related links, please view the page 'SEPA Vision and Goals' on the EPC Website.
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