SEPA which stands for the Single Euro Payments Area is due to be implemented on the 1st of February 2014 for all countries within the Euro-Zone , however the United Kingdom as a non-Euro-zone country has until the 31st October 2016 to become fully SEPA compliant.
SEPA is fundamentally about making the process of sending and receiving money throughout Europe a more efficient and streamlined process for business’s, financial institutions and indeed the general public. The SEPA system is designed to make it easier for inter-country trading within Europe.
The below video created by the Deutsche Bank Group explains why it is important for your business to be SEPA ready.
However just because the compliance deadline for the U.K. is 2016 does not mean that ensuring your business is SEPA compliant is something you can afford to ignore, this is due to the fact that the vast majority of U.K .companies trade with member states who are in the Euro-zone, so there is going to have to be major efforts made to integrate as quickly as possible to the new payments system to ensure that market share and over all competiveness is not adversely effected by the changeover.
The U.K. Payments council in November 2013 produced the following white paper on their overview of SEPA implementation within business’s in the U.K. This would be a very useful resource for anybody trading in the S.M.E , sole trader or accountancy sectors. This document provides a good oversight of additional SEPA resources that the U.K. Payments Council has posted on their website along with some interesting statistics that they have complied regarding the various levels of compliance to SEPA among financial Institutions and in relation to payments conducted throughout the U.K.
There is however now intense speculation that the deadline for SEPA compliance might be extended for another 6 months following reports the European Commission’s internal market and services Commissioner Michel Barnier has publically stated the he is not confident that enough companies throughout Europe will be able to fully guarantee compliance by the February 1st deadline, another deadline for the 1st of August 2014 is now being seen as the more likely date established as the final cut of point for companies to be fully SEPA compliant.
As always we at Big Red Cloud are monitoring the situation very closely in relation to the effect that the migration to SEPA is going to have on our client base throughout the United Kingdom. We would like to know how confident you are that your business is going to be fully SEPA ready by the 1st of February or indeed the 1st of August.
Get in touch with us on our Facebook page and share your thoughts with us and others in the business community within the U.K. regarding the challenges posed by SEPA compliance within your industry sector.
We also hope 2014 is a great year for you and your business! and that you are now slightly more clear on the whole issue of being SEPA ready and the ramifications that it will have for your business.