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SEPA Explained

Cashbook explains SEPA – Single European Payments Area
September 2011

The introduction of SEPA (Single European Payments Area) brings about one of the most
significant changes in the European Monetary Union since the introduction of the Euro Currency.
All companies operating within the SEPA region will now have to adapt their payment procedures
to comply with The SEPA Format. SEPA is an initiative by the European Banking Industry to
ensure that both domestic & foreign electronic payments across the entire Eurozone, use the
same format, resulting in many advantages for companies operating in this region. Customers
can now make cashless Euro payments to anyone in the Eurozone, using a single payment
account and a single set of payment instructions. SEPA means transfers between bank accounts
are fast, reliable and considerably more cost effective.

Prior to SEPA there were many different payment areas or ‘clearing systems’ within Europe. This
resulted in cross border Euro Zone payments being both expensive and disparate. The
European Payments Council (EPC) has laid the groundwork for a more standardised payment
infrastructure.

The SEPA Zone consists of the following territories:

  • The 17 members of the European Economic Area (EEA) and EU that are in the Eurozone
  • The 10 members of the EEA and EU that are not part of the Eurozone
  • The 3 members of the EEA that are not in the EU: Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway
  • Monaco – uses the Euro but is not an EU member country or part of the Eurozone
  • Switzerland
  • Other territories considered to be part of the EU and listed in Article 299 of The Treaty of
    Rome

The EPC believes that SEPA has a number of benefits including:

  • All banks offer the same type of product and adopt the same format
  • Equal time limits, equal fraud-risk levels and equal processes across the Euro Zone
  • Reduction of costs of electronic money and payment transfers
  • The EPC has set out the rules, practices and standards around which banks must comply,
    requiring in future that all payments made between the ‘SEPA Zone’ countries are to be
    used using the SEPA format

Cashbook offers companies a complete solution for SEPA compliance, now and into the future
when payment protocols are updated. Cashbook has over 18 years of experience of dealing with
over 165 banking formats throughout the world with over 200 Blue Chip/Fortune 500 clients. We
are now at the forefront of the implementation of SEPA compliant payment formats for indigenous
organisations throughout Europe and we look forward to assisting additional organisations with
cost effective banking implementations from single site to shared service centre operations.
Indeed, Cashbook’s electronic banking pedigree dates as far back as 1998 for a 60 site
worldwide deal in the pharmaceutical sector, demonstrating the proven expertise that Cashbook
has to offer in banking format/clearing house technology.

We look forward to many more successful implementations with SEPA.

For more information regarding SEPA visit –
The European Central Bank or The European
Payments Council

For more information of how Cashbooks can help you with SEPA, contact Robert Moloney:
News Room
With the assistance of Cashbook, we
have been able to reduce the amount of
time it takes to apply cash by 50%.

Karen Snyder, Cash Application Supervisor,
Exide Technologies
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