Are you ready for SEPA?

Posted on 23-12-2013

The Single European Payments Area (SEPA) comes into force on 1 February 2014. From this date, the payments of individuals and companies throughout Europe must comply with the new SEPA standard.

This standard allows consumers, governments, retailers and companies to make their payments throughout the eurozone and the European Union in the same way.

The transition from national to European payment systems will be complete by 1 February 2014. At this time, all bank transfers and direct debits must comply with the SEPA standards. This applies to all payments in euro. And it applies to countries that are not a part of the eurozone but are a part of the SEPA zone such as Sweden and Switzerland.

What will change for companies?

  • Your account number goes from 12 digits to a European IBAN number with 16 characters. The transfer form remains the same
  • Direct debits of clients no longer take place via the bank. Thus, you will need to take care of this yourself. Your bank can help you with this transition
  • Direct debits can be used for both repeated and one-time payments

According to the Federal Public Service for Finance, the Federal Public Service for the Self-employed and SMEs, the National Bank, and Febelfin, preparations at large companies are in full swing, but SMEs are still insufficiently aware of the impact. For this reason, a collective appeal is being made to SMEs to begin their preparations now.

Surprised to hear any of this? BB3 Revisoren can help.