The goal of SEPA is to optimise payment services. In support of this goal, the European Parliament adopted, among other legislative acts, Regulation (EU) 260/2012.
This Regulation, also known as “SEPA end-date regulation”, establishes a set of common standards, rules and practices for the execution of payment orders (credit transfers)
and collections (direct debits) within the SEPA countries and determines the end-dates by which banks and businesses should adopt and implement specific technical requirements
in order to operate within a single payments market.
The countries which are part of the jurisdictional scope of SEPA are the following:
|European Union (EU) – Euro Area countries (19 countries)|
|European Union (EU) – Member States with currencies other than the euro (9 countries)|
|Czech Republic||Poland||United Kingdom|
|Guernsey||Monaco||Vatican City State|
|Isle of Man||San Marino|
The benefits brought by SEPA to consumers, when these either make payments (“payers”) or receive payments (“payees”), are the following:
- Convenient use
- Automated procedure
- Uniformity of technical rules
For more details, please visit the official website of the Bank of Greece www.bankofgreece.gr.
More specifically, the Regulation lays down the terms governing the execution of payment orders (credit transfers) and collections (direct debits) in euro, as well as the ways
of communication between banks and individuals and businesses so as to operate in a single payments market.
The Regulation requires the use of common standards and business practices throughout Europe. Indicatively, the following standards apply to SEPA payment orders:
BIC: Business Identifier Code:
International standardised code which uniquely identifies a financial institution anywhere in the world. A different naming for BIC is SWIFT Code.
The mandatory use of BIC for payment transactions within SEPA will end on 1.2.2016.
“ISO 20022 XML” Standard:
Standard format for the development of electronic financial messages, as defined by ISO, including the payments orders and direct debits in XML format, in accordance with the rules under the scope of the Regulation (ΕU) 260/2012.
For access to the information concerning the articles of the Regulation through the official website of the Hellenic Bank Association, click here.