What's it all about?
SEPA, the Single European Payments Area has a more significant impact on full service banks than on secondary banks like ourselves. Having said that, there are a few areas that are impacted for RaboDirect customers. We'll get to that later. But first, here's our straight talking take on SEPA and what exactly it means.
Normally, within a country where there's a common currency, the entire banking system is linked so that transactions between banks within that country are made easily. With the Euro zone, it's a little bit different. Although there's a common currency and payments within each country within the Euro zone are made and cleared easily, payments across borders are not.
How can it improve things?
The Single European Payments Area (SEPA) aims to facilitate payments made in Euro by developing a standardised process that essentially means that all bank payment systems between countries will be aligned and speak the same language as it were. New rules will come into effect on 1st February 2014 to enhance SEPA which will mean it will be as easy to make or receive payments in Euro across the Euro zone as it is to make and receive payments from one Irish account to another. So, for example, if you want to pay an invoice from France from an Irish bank account or pay a Spanish electricity bill that will be very easy to do.
At RaboDirect we set the 9th of September 2013 as our date to be SEPA ready.
The SEPA vision below illustrates how things are currently done and how things will change with the introduction of SEPA.
|Banking before SEPA
||Banking after SEPA
|National and local schemes, systems which differ from country to country
||Common schemes and systems across the SEPA countries
|Different customer experience in each country
||Same customer experience in each country
|Poor links between countries
||Effective links between countries
|Cross-border complexity, delays, risk
||Cross-border reduced complexity, improved efficiency Credits delivered next day or better
|Trading in multiple euro markets requires accounts in each country
||Trading in multiple euro markets requires one account