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A Guide to SEPA Payment Instruments

Contents

Section 1: The Single Euro Payments Area
Section 2: The stakeholders
Section 3: The Payment Services Directive
Section 4: The SEPA payment schemes
Section 5: The SEPA credit transfer scheme
Section 6: The core SEPA direct debit scheme
Section 7: Clearing and settlement infrastructure
Section 8: SEPA Cards Framework
Section 9: SEPA: opportunities for corporates

Introduction

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) was launched in January 2008, heralding an ambitious two year migration to new euro-wide payment instruments and infrastructures. The gradual roll-out of the SEPA Credit Transfer Scheme and the SEPA Cards Framework, the publication of the Payment Services Directive in December 2007, and the scheduled launch of the SEPA Direct Debit Scheme (albeit belatedly) by November 2009, bring the European Commission’s vision for the single market several steps closer to realisation.

Corporate willingness to convert to the new payment instruments is crucial to the success of SEPA. Achieving this starts with ensuring they have the right information. ‘Knowledge is power’ is a well used but fitting cliché as knowing what SEPA is about – its features, processes and infrastructures as well as the issues challenging what may not be a quite so smooth journey to fruition – will lead to a greater understanding of how it impacts and ultimately benefits the individual business.

This handbook gives a comprehensive overview of SEPA, providing information to help corporates understand the importance of SEPA and its consequences.

Europe has started one of the largest restructuring exercises ever to occur within the payments industry. Corporates must embrace SEPA in order to achieve the advantages it promises.