To learn more about SEPA
The Single Euro Payments Area or SEPA is the area where citizens, companies and other economic participants make and receive payments in euro, whether between or within national boundaries, under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations. The uniform SEPA payment instruments have replaced national euro payment systems. The Single Euro Payments Area is made up of 34 countries – all the 28 EU member states, together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.
SEPA is an EU-wide policy-maker-driven integration initiative in the area of payments designed to achieve the completion of the EU internal market and monetary union.
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) - focused on harmonising the euro payments market. Integrating the multitude of national payment systems is a natural step towards making the euro a truly single and fully functioning currency.
The overall goals were defined by EU governments in the Lisbon Agenda which envisages the EU internal market as the most competitive knowledge-based economy globally. According to the Lisbon Agenda, the integration of euro payments markets is a major requirement for the realisation of this vision. SEPA is therefore a necessary step towards strengthening the European economy as a whole.
The European Central Bank (ECB) views SEPA as a pre-requisite to the completion of the monetary union. In SEPA, the euro currency is systemically strengthened by a harmonised set of euro payment instruments. In addition, the European Commission and the ECB expect SEPA to serve as a stepping stone towards revolutionising electronic services in the payments and public services sectors, leading to further cost reductions and efficiency gains to the benefit of customers.
Achieving the Vision and Goals of SEPA
The creation of a fully integrated environment for euro payments - SEPA, has been achievable through the implementation of the SEPA Migration End-Date Regulation (Regulation (EU) 260/2012).
This Regulation requires the use of specific standards for the processing of Euro payments on both the banks and their customers.
This SEPA initiative enable both personal and business customers to make cashless euro payments throughout the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) from a single payment account anywhere in that area using a single set of payment instruments.