EPC Blog: Talking about SEPA to small businesses? Food for thought for...

EPC Blog: Talking about SEPA to small businesses? Food for thought for public authorities, banks and other service providers: “Keep it simple,” says a small business owner who plans to be SEPA ready in Autumn 2013.

24 October 13

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European Union law effectively mandates migration to Credit Transfer ( ) and Direct Debit ( ) in the euro area by 1 February 2014. Also payment service users have to achieve compliance with the Regulation, otherwise they risk refusal of payment transactions by payment service providers from 1 February 2014.

In June 2013, the European Central Bank published updated qualitative Single Euro Payments Area ( ) indicators, which measure the level of preparedness by stakeholder groups at country level as of the first quarter of 2013. According to these most recent qualitative indicators, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in five euro area countries are currently at risk of missing the 1 February 2014 deadline with regard to both and . The focus must therefore, be on joining forces to assist SMEs to achieve compliance on time. This requires coordinated efforts by national public authorities and trade associations representing businesses and banks.

In this blog (see ‘related links’ below), Javier Santamaría, Chairman of the European Payments Council, reports on the latest available data reflecting the rate of market uptake. He also shares some insight from the owner of a business, which currently collects 45 direct debit payments per month, on how to motivate small businesses to get ready for .

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