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 January 2014, 4,580 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 ( ) Core Scheme and the Business to Business (B2B) Scheme in November 2009. As of January 2014, 3,925 have signed up to the Core Scheme. As of January 2014, 3,460 also adhere to the B2B Scheme. The separate Participant Registers for the Core and B2B 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 Core 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 transactions
The quantitative indicators published on the European Central Bank (ECB) Website (see ‘related links’ below) measure the share of and 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 74 percent as of December 2013, while the share of transactions has reached 41 percent.
In a press release, entitled ‘New statistics show migration gathers pace in December’ published on 20 January 2014 (see ‘related links’ below), the ECB commented that these latest statistics demonstrate that migration to “gathered pace strongly in December. According to the latest figures provided by national central banks, 74 percent of credit transfers in the euro area were already -compliant at the end of December (from 64 percent in November). For direct debits, the figure stands at 41 percent, a very steep increase from the 26 percent registered in November. The December figures show that, if the current pace of migration continues, the vast majority of stakeholders will complete their migration by 1 February 2014. The ECB urges all market participants to continue their current migration pace and to complete the transition of all credit transfer and direct debit transactions to the standards by 1 February 2014.”
ECB qualitative indicators assess progress by stakeholder groups at country level
The most recent quantitative indicators confirm the outlook provided with the latest qualitative indicators also published by the ECB (see ‘related links’ below). In January 2014, the ECB published updated qualitative indicators to assess preparedness across the transaction chain in each country. The qualitative indicators take into account the specificities of the respective country with regard to migration progress by ‘big billers’, public administrations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and . Non-euro area European Union ( ) countries participate in this exercise on a voluntary basis only. The assessment is based on a ‘traffic light system’. The qualitative indicators published in January 2014 measure the level of preparedness by stakeholder groups at country level up to end-January 2014. These latest qualitative indicators also show that the vast majority of stakeholders are expected to meet the formal 1 February 2014 migration deadline applicable in the euro area countries except Latvia1 mandated with law.
- All will be ready. In the majority of euro area countries, had already completed preparations in the third quarter of 2013.
- All ‘big billers’ will be ready.
- All public administrations will be ready.
- SMEs in 15 out of 17 countries will be ready. As of mid January 2014, it appeared that part of the SME sector in France was at risk of missing the 1 February 2014 deadline with regard to both and . SMEs in Luxembourg might not complete migration to by that date.
Figure 1: To facilitate a quick overview of the results for the euro area, the created this spreadsheet based on the qualitative indicators for the period up to end-January 2014 published by the European Central Bank (ECB). Click on table to enlarge image.
The European Commission and the co-legislators now consider effectively extending the 1 February 2014 deadline applicable in the euro area to achieve compliance until 1 August 2014
In February 2012, the co-legislators, i.e. the European Parliament and the Council of the representing Member States, adopted the ‘Regulation ( ) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro’ (see ‘related links’ below), also known as the Regulation. (The Council of the is the institution where the Member States’ government representatives sit, i.e. the ministers of each Member State with responsibility for a given policy area.) Article 6 (1) and (2) of the Regulation mandates that credit transfers and direct debits shall be carried out in accordance with the relevant requirements set out in Article 5 and in the Annex to the Regulation by 1 February 2014, subject to certain limited exemptions mentioned in the Regulation. (In non-euro countries, the deadline will be 31 October 2016.)
The European Commission communicated on 9 January 2014 (see ‘related links’ below) that it proposes to modify Regulation ( ) No 260/2012 to “give an extra transition period of six months during which payments which differ from the format can still be accepted” after 1 February 2014. In order for this additional transition period to become effective, this proposal introduced by the European Commission must be formally adopted by the co-legislators. This means: the European Parliament and the Council of the must take the necessary steps to modify the legal text of Regulation ( ) No 260/2012 adopted in February 2012. The legislative process related to the proposal introduced by the European Commission on 9 January 2014 was not concluded at the time of publication of the Newsletter January 2014 edition.
Latest information on this legislative process is detailed in the article ‘ 2014: Calls on European Parliament and Governments Represented in the Council of the European Union to Provide Clarity on Compliance Requirements As Soon As Possible’, published in the January 2014 edition of the Newsletter. (See the ‘related articles in this issue’ at the end of this article.)
recommends that organisations in the euro area still working towards achieving compliance aim to finalise the migration process as soon as possible
As mentioned above, the European Commission and the co-legislators, (i.e. the European Parliament and the Council of the representing Member States), are now considering enforcing compliance with the Regulation in the euro area by 1 August 2014. 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 ECB makes available country-specific information, including national migration plans and -related contact information, with ‘Fact Sheets on Regulation 260/2012’ (see ‘related links’ below). Following the announcement of the European Commission proposal to amend Regulation ( ) No 260/2012 to “give an extra transition period of six months during which payments which differ from the format can still be accepted” after 1 February 2014, 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 Member States whose currency is the euro.)
Etienne Goosse is the Secretary General.
European Central Bank Qualitative SEPA Indicators per Country (‘Traffic Light Indicators’) [This link is no longer made available by the ECB as of June 2014. Publicly available data reflecting the qualitative indicators per country as of the end of the third quarter of 2013 are included with the second migration report published by the ECB in October 2013; see next link, pages 13, 15, 16 and 17.]
European Commission Press Release (9 January 2014): ‘Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA): Commission Introduces an Additional Transition Period of Six Months to Ensure Minimal Disruption for Consumers and Businesses’
Related articles in this issue:
SEPA 2014: EPC Calls on European Parliament and EU Governments Represented in the Council of the European Union to Provide Clarity on SEPA Compliance Requirements As Soon As Possible. On 9 January 2014, the European Commission introduced a proposal to effectively postpone the deadline for compliance with Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 from 1 February 2014 to 1 August 2014
University of Barcelona: “Early Migration to SEPA Has Led to More Agile and Effective Account Reconciliation and Faster Processing of Payments”. The University implemented SEPA Credit Transfer in 2008 and will complete migration to SEPA Direct Debit by the end of January 2014
Related articles in previous issues:
SEPA Fact Check: The SEPA Benefits Projected by EU Governments, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (1999 – 2013). SEPA is an EU integration initiative driven by EU governments and the EU institutions. Note: the European Payments Council is not part of the EU institutional framework. ( Newsletter, Issue 20, October 2013)
1 Latvia joined the euro area on 1 January 2014 however, with a specific migration timeline according to Regulation ( ) No 260/2012, namely 1 January 2015.
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