In September 2013, the European Central Bank (ECB) published updated qualitative Single Euro Payments Area () indicators to assess preparedness across the transaction chain in each country (see ‘related links’ below). The qualitative indicators published in September 2013 measure the level of preparedness by stakeholder groups at country level as of the second quarter of 2013. To facilitate a quick overview of the results for the euro area, the European Payments Council created the spreadsheet available with the ‘related files’ below.
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 payment service providers (). Non-euro area European Union (EU) countries participate in this exercise on a voluntary basis only. The qualitative indicators are updated quarterly by the national central banks. The assessment is based on a ‘traffic light system’.
In February 2012, the European legislator adopted the ‘Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro’ (the Regulation), which defines 1 February 2014 as the deadline in the euro area for compliance with the core provisions of this Regulation. Effectively, this means that as of this date, existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by Credit Transfer () and Direct Debit ().
The most recent qualitative indicators, which reflect the assessment by national central banks as of the second quarter of 2013, provide the following outlook with regard to readiness of stakeholders in the 17 euro area countries by 1 February 2014:
- All will be ready. In the majority of euro area countries, have already completed preparations.
- ‘Big billers’ in almost all euro area countries will be ready. It currently appears that the corporate sector in Germany might not complete migration to , while corporates in Estonia might not complete migration to .
- Public administrations in almost all euro area countries will be ready. It currently appears that public administrations in Germany might not complete migration to , while public administrations in Estonia might not complete migration to .
- SMEs in Cyprus, France, Germany and Spain are at risk of missing the 1 February 2014 deadline with regard to both and . SMEs in Estonia might not complete migration to ; SMEs in Luxembourg might not complete migration to .
With its conclusions of May 2013 (see ‘related links’ below), the Council of the representing Member States called upon “all Member States to significantly intensify communication measures primarily at national level to eliminate existing public awareness gaps.” These communication measures, the Council of the states, should especially target “SMEs, small public administrations and local authorities.” The Council of the underlines that the provisions of the Regulation “have to be fully respected by all market participants in euro area Member States,” and emphasises that “competent authorities should cooperate intensively, on a national and international level, to ensure effective and harmonised compliance with the Regulation.”
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