The new SEPA standard debuts in Europe

By Josef Etz on 1. August 2014 in Inside PAY.ON, Market Insights

A long journey has ended. From today on – August 1, 2014 – all direct debits in Europe are being processed exclusively with the new SEPA standard. PAY.ON enabled the migration for its clients with a fast switch within just one day.

The SEPA standard has had a big impact by making payments within Europe considerably simpler. SEPA Direct Debit unites 33 European countries and makes cross-border eCommerceeasier than ever before. For merchants, the SEPA standard simplifies their recurring payment processes to a minimum, and increases their conversion rates because of direct debit’s high level of customer acceptance. The new scheme enables merchants to do business easily in 33 countries with only one bank account and one creditor ID number in the whole of Europe. Furthermore, the SEPA standard offers international merchants direct access to 500 million potential customers.

In countries where direct debit was used intensively before SEPA got introduced, the migration went extremely smoothly. In countries where direct debit was not the favored online payment option, SEPA is now a great opportunity to expand transnational business. Through the e-mandate, the merchant has a great tool for reducing the chargeback risk from 13 months to eight weeks. Thus, merchants save effort and expense on reinsurance and can therefore better control liquidity. The process handling is simplified to a minimum and drastically reduces costs.

Big players are happy with the migration to SEPA Direct Debit and already benefit from SEPA – for example, from true cross-border payment across Europe. We are sure that small and middle-sized online merchants will enjoy the same experience all across Europe.

All in all, looking to the future remains important. Countries inside and outside of the eurozone must not overlook the next SEPA standard deadlines established by EU law, applicable in 2016. Throughout Europe, SEPA compliance has now been fulfilled. In non-euro countries, the deadline is October 31, 2016. Effectively, this means that as of this date, existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD), too.

We will keep you up to date on our blog, but for now – welcome, SEPA!



Josef Etz

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