SEPA Standards Take Effect in Europe (Aug. 7, 2014)
Cross-border payments in the Eurozone have reached a milestone, with Aug. 1 marking the migration deadline for all credit and direct debit transfers to comply with Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) requirements. A European Central Bank (ECB) initiative to harmonize payment methods within the Eurozone and speed cross-border electronic payments, SEPA will enable 500 million citizens and 20 million businesses to use a single bank account for all euro credit and direct debit transactions within the SEPA zone. The initiative also aids businesses by providing a standardized framework for euro payments to other European countries. For prepaid cardholders, the SEPA standards will be especially helpful in minimizing delays in cross-border bank transfers for reloads, David Parker, founder & CEO of London-based Polymath Consulting, tells Paybefore.
The deadline for all payers to comply with SEPA standards originally was set for Feb. 1. But sluggish migration rates spurred the European Parliament to extend the deadline by an additional six months, to Aug. 1. With that deadline now passed, cross-border electronic transfers that don’t adhere to the SEPA format will be declined.
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