31 October 2016 is the last major milestone of the migration to the Single Euro Payments Area (). From now on, when a person (or business, corporate, government…) located in a country not using the euro as its currency will send a euro credit transfer or direct debit to another account located in , it will effectively be mandatory for them to use the Credit Transfer () or Direct Debit () schemes, managed by the .
The Regulation defines the 31 October 2016 migration date for non-euro countries
The ‘Regulation () No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009', adopted in 2012 and more commonly referred to as the Regulation, defines the various deadlines for countries to comply with its provisions.
From 31 October 2016 onwards, all euro-denominated credit transfers and direct debits initiated in non-euro countries, sent to accounts in other countries (both euro and non-euro countries), will therefore have to be compliant with the Regulation. Credit transfers and direct debits in local currency sent to accounts located in the same non-euro country than the transaction originator’s will continue to use domestic schemes.
Though these euro transactions across will represent a minor share of the credit transfers and direct debits processed in these non-euro countries (domestic currency transactions being predominant), the 31 October 2016 deadline is nonetheless a major milestone for the project. By marking the end of the global migration of euro credit transfers and direct debits to , it is a symbol of the successful harmonisation of these payment instruments in the area.
Which countries are concerned?
The twelve countries directly concerned by the 31 October 2016 migration date are non-euro countries, part of the European Economic Area: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
The detailed list of countries is available here.
The migration of non-euro countries to is expected to be smooth
Based on the regular discussions it has with its members from non-euro countries, the expects their migration to to be smooth, as many of them already comply with the Regulation for their cross- euro direct debits and credit transfers. Migration indicators published by the European Central Bank earlier this year confirmed that most countries were on track to be ready by the final deadline. For instance, Denmark, Poland and the UK already use for all their cross- euro credit transfers.
Though 31 October 2016 is an important milestone in the European payments integration project, it does not mark the final achievement of . Several payment fields (instant, mobile, Person-to-Person, e-invoicing…) still lack harmonisation in the area. The will continue to strive for a greater payment harmonisation, to the benefit of all users and of Europe’s competitiveness. The development and launch of the SCT Instant scheme is a clear illustration of this effort.
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