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Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)


The introduction of the single currency created the need for a euro area with integrated modern payments infrastructure and regulatory framework.  The European banking industry recognised this need and initiated the process for the establishment of a Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

In June, 2002, the European Payment Council (EPC) was set up as the coordination and decision-making body of the European banking industry in relation to payments, with the purpose of supporting and promoting the implementation of SEPA.

SEPA is an area in which consumers, companies and other economic stakeholders will be able to take and receive payments in euro, whether across or within national boundaries under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations.The geographic region of SEPA covers the 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Monaco and San Marino. By adopting SEPA payment products (credit transfers, direct debits and payment cards), users are able to effect electronic payments within the SEPA countries, with the same convenience, time and cost, as domestic payments.

As a result of the  effective implementation of Regulation 260/2012 of the European Council of 14th March 2012 regarding the establishment of technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and the amendment of Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European parliament and of the council on cross-border payments in the Community, Cyprus implemented the Single Euro Payments Area Law of 2014 which was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus on 25.07.2014.

On 16.6.2017, the Law amending the implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area Law of 2014 came into force and is referred to as:

The Implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area (Amendment) Law of 2017 (in Greek only)

 

In Cyprus, the migration to SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits was successfully completed before the SEPA migration end-date of August 1, 2014, as defined by the EU Regulation 260/2012.

Further details on SEPA may be found on the following websites:


European Payments Council (EPC)

European Commission, DG Internal Market

European Central Bank, SEPA

Euro Banking Association (EBA)

SWIFT

Standards & Technical requirements for processing SEPA payments

EuroCommerce

Payment services providers also offer information on SEPA and SEPA products.