Single Euro Payments Area
June, 2018 – It has 36 member states, it is a payment-integration initiative and it simplifies bank transfers made in Euro, but what is it really? It’s SEPA! Have you ever heard of it? Well, you might want to focus on this, especially if you are going to visit a country in the Eurozone or already live there.
The Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) is an initiative of the European Union, and it consists of its 28 member states, the four member states of the European Free Trade Association, Monaco and San Marino.
The project allows anyone located in the Eurozone, with the use of a bank account and a set of payment instruments, to make cashless euro payments to anyone else located in the area. So if for example you have a bank account in France and you get a job in Germany, you will be able to get paid directly as both countries exist in the zone.
If this is your first time hearing about SEPA, you might think it is fresh and new, but it actually started around 12 years ago!
Banks have been switching customers to the new payment instrument since 2008 and the majority were expected to be on the SEPA framework by 2010, which meant banks in the SEPA area (inside and outside the Eurozone) had to invest technology with the capacity to support the instrument, but it became fully operational in all Eurozone countries as of August, 2014.
Companies around the globe have already benefitted from the low cost of EU and SEPA payments for several years. However, since the Payment Services Act has entered into force, payment transactions in the Eurozone started being processed quicker and value date practices have changed to the benefit of companies.
Thus, instant SEPA payments of up to 10,000 euros within 10 seconds became available since November, 2017.
The advances in financial payments through handsets and the rise of e-commerce makes SEPA services in need of constant development for banks and companies, especially enterprises that may want to implement the instrument.
European regulations are in constant update round-the-clock and every institution needs to be ready to new changes, as implementing SEPA and mastering the provision of its services guarantees satisfaction of clients and customers.