PositionSingle Euro Payments Area - Brief article

The European Commission decided, on 9 January, to extend the transition period by six months during which payments that differ from the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) format can still be accepted. Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier said that "As of today, migration rates for credit transfers and direct debits are not high enough to ensure a smooth transition to SEPA despite the important work already carried out by all involved".

As reported by Europolitics (4734), migration rates had been steadily rising over the last two quarters of 2013. However, the Commission now admits that "it is highly unlikely that the target of 100% for SCT (SEPA credit transfers) and SDD (SEPA direct debits) can be reached by 1 February 2014".

This decision is in stark contrast to recent statements by the European Central Bank (ECB), the Commission, and crucially the European Payments Council (the coordination and decision making body of the European banking industry in relation to payments), which have clearly stated that "there is...

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