When is a SEPA migration not a SEPA migration?

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is a European Commission and European Payments Council initiative that plans to drive down the barriers of cross-border payments and create a single set of standards for euro transactions across the EU.

The SEPA-compliant cross-border schemes were introduced in January 2008, with SEPA Credit Transfer. It is a cross-border euro payment scheme which allows transfer payments to be made between any SEPA country, including euro payments within the UK. SEPA Direct Debits was launched in late 2009. As a result, all SEPA schemes will be fully operative by February 2014, for cross-border and local payments across all EU member states.

But when corporates are migrating to SEPA how do they know if, or when the their payments are actually going through SEPA clearing? If a corporate thinks it has done all that is needed – converted its bank account data to IBAN, submitted payments information to ISO20022 xml standards and so on – has it actually migrated if its bank is still routing some, or all of its payments via domestic clearing? Bearing this in mind, how should a corporate actually ‘test’ that its migration was a success when it has little or no control over when the routing via SEPA clearing actually occurs?

Are banks providing any feedback to corporates to let them know when payments have routed via SEPA clearing successfully? What’s your experience – let us know?

It’s an area we can advise on. Simply click here for more.