EPC Blog: SEPA 2014 - Think Local: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises ...

EPC Blog: SEPA 2014 - Think Local: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Should Act Now. The Mazet Group: a Case Study.

24 October 13

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Since April 2011, the Newsletter has featured case studies highlighting the lessons learnt by payment service users such as businesses, public administrations, and government agencies, which have successfully completed migration to the Single Euro Payments Area ( ). These pioneers unanimously commented that migration to the harmonised payment schemes and technical standards is manageable, feasible and beneficial. The migration project of Mazet Group, a medium-sized business based in France, confirms this experience. In this blog (see ‘related links’ below), Javier Santamaría, Chairman of the European Payments Council ( ), reports on the Mazet Group project.

In March 2013, the European Central Bank (ECB) published its first Migration Report. In this report, the ECB warns against the risks of late migration by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): “Business impediments, if caused by bottlenecks at the end of the migration period, may substantially challenge the everyday finances of SMEs.” The ECB strongly advocates migrating at a relatively early stage, “preferably by the third quarter of 2013, at the latest.”

The focus, therefore, should now be on joining forces to assist SMEs, in particular, to achieve compliance with the European Union ( ) ‘Regulation ( ) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro’, which effectively mandates migration to Credit Transfer and Direct Debit in the euro area by 1 February 2014. Javier Santamaría, comments: “This requires coordinated efforts by national public authorities, and trade associations representing businesses and banks.”

In May 2013, the Council of the called on all Member States to “significantly intensify communication measures primarily at national level to eliminate existing public awareness gaps” and invited SMEs and other stakeholders on the demand side to “immediately take the necessary concrete internal steps” to get ready for . The fully supports this recommendation.

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