Single Euro Payments Area SEPA Herman Ciappara Payments & Banking Department Central Bank of Malta

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1 Single Euro Payments Area SEPA Herman Ciappara Payments & Banking Department Central Bank of Malta 1 1

2 Outline What is SEPA? Objectives Opportunities Important SEPA Dates Impact of SEPA Challenges 2 2

3 What is SEPA? With the introduction of euro banknotes and coins in 2002, consumers have been able to make cash payments throughout the euro area using a single currency. The SEPA project represents the next major step towards closer European financial and monetary integration. SEPA is an initiative that allows consumers to make non-cash euro payments to any beneficiary located anywhere in the euro area using a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments. 3 3

4 What is SEPA? SEPA consists of: A single set of euro payment instruments credit transfers direct debits card payments Common technical standards, payment schemes and a harmonised legal framework SEPA includes the EU 27 countries, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Monaco. 4 4

5 Outline What is SEPA? Objectives Opportunities Important SEPA Dates Impact of SEPA Challenges 5 5

6 Objectives All retail payments in euro will become domestic, eliminating any differentiation between national and cross-border payments within the euro area. Payments will be made under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of their location. This should foster the development of a competitive and innovative euro area retail payments market that can bring with it higher service levels, more efficient products and cheaper alternatives for making payments. 6 6

7 Outline What is SEPA? Objectives Opportunities Important SEPA Dates Impact of SEPA Challenges 7 7

8 Opportunities Using SEPA payment instruments, companies will be able to perform all euro-denominated payments centrally, from a single account. This will simplify payment management processes, facilitating easier reconciliation and bank account management. Consolidating payment and liquidity management in one location, companies with euro area wide business will save on costs and time. 8 8

9 Opportunities For large companies, the adaptation of the payment and collection channels to SEPA standards can be an opportunity to step up automatic processing procedures and switch to stronger IT data integration. Potential for innovative value-added services to be offered, like e-invoicing and e-reconciliation, regardless of national borders. Greater transparency in the pricing structure and comparable costs of payment services between banks. 9 9

10 Outline What is SEPA? Objectives Opportunities Important SEPA Dates Impact of SEPA Challenges 10

11 Important SEPA Dates 28 January 2008: Launch of SEPA Credit Transfer 1 November 2009: Launch of SEPA Direct Debit with the transposition of the Payment Services Directive 1 February 2014: SEPA migration end-date for both SCT and SDD (as set by Regulation (EU) 260/2012 entered into force on 31 March 2012) 11

12 Outline What is SEPA? Objectives Opportunities Important SEPA Dates Impact of SEPA Challenges 12

13 Impact of SEPA SCT & SDD All legacy Direct Credit transactions in Malta (4.59 million during 2011) need to be converted to SEPA Credit Transfers by 1 February 2014 No legacy Direct Debit scheme exists in Malta (although the number of DD on-us transactions was at 1.214M in 2010) and therefore there is no need to migrate to SEPA DDs However new debtor rights stipulated by the regulation may need to be applied 13

14 Impact of SEPA Cards infrastructure Banks offering card services are working towards achieving EMV compliance of their ATMs, retail EPOS Terminals and Cards in line with the SEPA Cards Framework: Retail EPOS upgrade to handle EMV cards is complete Upgrade of all ATMs is well underway Upgrade of Credit Cards and co-branded Debit cards to EMV (chip & pin) completed by end

15 SCT ECB migration SEPA Indicators National level SCT - transaction shares per country (Jul Dec 2011) SCT as a % of all CT LU FI CY SI BE ES FR AT IT MT DE IE GR PT SK EE NL Euro area countries

16 Outline What is SEPA? Objectives Opportunities Important SEPA Dates Impact of SEPA Challenges 16

17 Challenges Companies should reassess their payment and collection procedures. Level of preparations needed will depend on the company s systems and the automation level of its payments processing. Changes will be slight if the company does not use bundled data for making payments but instead uses only online banking to make payments individually. Companies making payments with bundled data should contact their financial management software providers and assess the impact of SEPA on their various systems. 17

18 Challenges The use of ISO XML message standard will become mandatory for bundled transmission of credit transfers in euro by business users which are not microenterprises. Companies should convert all databases with account and bank information to the IBAN format in their systems, as account numbers in the domestic format will be discontinued (including accounts payable/accounts receivable systems and human resources systems containing employee account information.) Companies should include their own IBAN and BIC on invoices and other payment related correspondence. 18

19 Challenges If a company currently has accounts in several countries, it should assess whether is it worth keeping them all. It would be useful for companies to take steps in coordination with their commercial partners, to assess the value of using one SEPA payment instrument rather than another. Companies accepting direct debit payments should ultimately consider transferring to e-invoicing. Timeliness in the migration process is important. 19

20 Relevant documents Payment Services Directive SEPA end date regulation EPC SEPA rulebooks SEPA Credit Transfer Scheme Customer-to-Bank Implementation guidelines SEPA Direct Debit Scheme Customer-to-Bank Implementation guidelines 20

21 Questions? 21

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