SEPA (Single Euro Payents Area) stands for the European Union (EU) payment integration initiative. Following the introduction of euro notes and coins in 2002, the political drivers of the SEPA initiative (EU governments, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB)), are focused on the integration of the euro payments market. This includes:
- Integrating the multitude of existing national euro credit transfer and euro direct debit schemes into a single set of European payment schemes. This is a natural step towards making the euro a truly single and fully operational currency.
- Creating a SEPA for cards which aims to ensure a consistent customer experience when making or accepting payments with cards throughout the euro area.
- Incentivising the increased use of electronic payment instruments while reducing the costs of wholesale cash distribution.
What are the benefits of SEPA?
Once SEPA is achieved, it will be possible to exchange euro payments between any accounts in SEPA as easily as it is only possible today within national borders. Common standards, faster settlement and simplified processing will improve cash flow, reduce costs and facilitate access to new markets. Moreover, customers will enjoy the benefits resulting from increased competition in the payments market.
The implementation of innovative and competitive SEPA payment services translates into efficiency gains for businesses and public administrations. Consumers can rely on a single set of euro payment instruments covering 33 countries: one bank account, one bank card, one SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT), and one SEPA Direct Debit (SDD).
- 33 individual countries
- 500 million citizens
- 87.5 billion electronic payment transactions annually
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 and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 (the SEPA Regulation), which defines February 1st 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 SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD). The majority of market participants recognize the value of setting a deadline for migration to harmonized SEPA payment schemes through European Union Regulation. The EPC shares the view that an end date for phasing out legacy euro payment schemes for credit transfers and direct debits ensures planning security for all market participants.
Impact on technology infrastructure for companies running on the IBM i platform
SEPA involves the implementation of XML web service communications within a company’s overall technology environment. With the pending deadline of February 1, 2014 the time is now to understand and ensure you have the necessary technology infrastructure in place to embrace all the benefits SEPA is intended to create. RPG-XML Suite has been specifically designed to empower businesses running on IBM i with the ability to efficiently integrate XML web service communications within your existing business processes.
To discuss your specific SEPA implementation needs or the deployment of a free proof of concept, call me directly at 612-216-1808 or contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For an excellent high level overview on the impact and need to plan for SEPA, visit this page.