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18 February 2014

ECOFIN Council: Deadline for SEPA payments extended to 1 August

The Council adopted a regulation postponing to 1 August 2014 the end-date in the euro area for the migration of domestic and intra-European credit transfers and direct debits in euros to the new SEPA-standard-based credit transfers and direct debits. (Includes EPC comment.)

The regulation amends regulation 260/2012, which had set a migration deadline of 1 February 2014. Extension of the deadline will enable banks, payment service providers and users to exceptionally and temporarily continue using existing standards alongside the SEPAstandard-based schemes, given that the rate of migration needs to be raised significantly before the final end-date. This will minimise disruptions that could particularly affect SMEs and consumers.

SEPA – the single euro payments area – was originally conceived as a market-driven project, enabling credit transfers and direct debits with no distinction between national and cross-border transactions. Customers are provided with a single international bank account number (IBAN) that can be used for all SEPA credit transfers and direct debits.

However, slow migration from national payment instruments to EU-wide instruments led the EU in 2012 to impose technical requirements under regulation 260/2012.

Press release

Regulation, 6.2.14

EPC-Blog: Don't Count on 1 August 2014: Different SEPA Migration Deadlines Apply Across the Euro Area During the “Additional Transition Period” Agreed by the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU Governments 

© European Council

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