On February 5 2014, the European Commission’s proposal to extend the SEPA transition deadline until 1 August 2014 was been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU retroactively to February 1 2014. Payments that differ from the SEPA format can therefore continue to be accepted until August 2014. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the migration will happen in the long run. Enough traction has been generated and there will not be a second delay in August 2014. Migration therefore is a crucial obligation for payment service providers/independent sales organizations and merchants at the moment.
SEPA migration is gathering pace
Statistics published by the European Central Bank (ECB) show that migration to the Single Europe Payments Area (SEPA) is gathering momentum. According to the latest figures provided by national central banks, SEPA direct debit transactions were at 60,2% of total direct debit transactions in January 2014. A very steep increase from the 26% registered in November 2013.
Slovenia (100%) leads the pack, having fully completed the migration to SDDs. Austria (74,0%), the Netherlands (72,3%), Greece (70,1%), France (69,3%) and Belgium (64,1%) process over half of their direct debits in the new SEPA format, while Luxembourg (49,1%), Italy (34,3%), Portugal (26,7%), Malta (23,4%) and Estonia (15%) are not even half way through with their migration. In Germany, only 29,4% of all direct debit transactions in January 2014 were processed as SDDs.
SEPA – Migrate now!
Altogether the SEPA migration has been gathering pace, despite the prolonged transition deadline. A good sign since a second delay cannot be expected. In Germany, however, 70,6% of direct debit transactions are still not processed as SDDs.