ECB completes introduction of SEPA to facilitate easy credit transfers

ECB completed the implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) for credit transfers and direct debits in the euro area.

ECB completes introduction of SEPA to facilitate easy credit transfers

European Central Bank (ECB) completed the implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) for credit transfers and direct debits in the euro area.

From now, every month over two billion payments will flow across the euro area in new standardized formats by abolishing barriers to cross-border payments.

SEPA will enable consumers to use just one euro bank account for all credit transfers and direct debits, irrespective of their location in Europe. In addition, it will boost consumer protection for direct debits, bringing in new rules to facilitate refunds.

By offering a standardized framework for all the payments, it allows businesses to grow and broaden their reach within Europe, while trimming expenses. Businesses can now use a single system and set of accounts for all their euro trade in Europe.

ECB executive board member Yves Mersch said: “The successful completion of SEPA further accelerates Europe’s financial integration.

“It removes barriers to credit transfers and direct debits which will no longer impede businesses or consumers.”

SEPA will also apply to euro-denominated transactions in non-eurozone countries from 30 October 2016.

The Eurosystem, which includes the ECB and the national central banks of euro area member states, has been monitoring the migration to and implementation of SEPA from its inception, facilitating open dialogue between all parties such as banks, corporates, consumers, public authorities, governments and SMEs.