”SEPA is extremely important for Europe’s Internal Market. This is very good news for the European Union”, said Sari Essayah MEP, EPP Group Rapporteur, after her Report on the technical requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in Euros was adopted today at the plenary session of the European Parliament.
In the future, there will be no need for companies and individuals to have several bank accounts within the single payments area. Within the SEPA, consumers can transfer money as easily to another account in another Member State as to an account in their own Member State.
”SEPA will make the payments sector more effective and will increase competition. It also creates favourable conditions for Europe-wide implementation of innovations”, explained Ms Essayah. ”Referring to the impact study published by the European Commission, the European economy as a whole will benefit by €123 billion over the next six years.”
The deadline for the changeover to the new system for both SEPA credit transfers and direct debits will be 1 February 2014. However, the same deadline will be 30 October 2016 in those Member States who are not part of the Eurozone. From 1 February 2014 onwards, common standards are required to be used by all banks, most importantly where IBAN and BIC codes are concerned.
”There are a lot of benefits for consumers in the SEPA: using a debit card anywhere in the Eurozone, direct debit from anywhere in the Eurozone, lower prices for basic payment services in high-cost countries, transparent pricing and no hidden charges, to mention only a few of the benefits”, said Sari Essayah.