Brussels, Aug 1 (IANS): The European Commission said Thursday that the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) would become fully operational in all euro zone countries from Aug 1, 2014 onwards.
SEPA, the largest payments initiative ever undertaken within Europe, would also apply to euro-denominated transactions in non-euro zone countries from October 30, 2016, it added.
The SEPA would create a true European Single Market for retail payments in euro, where transfers, direct debits and payments between member states of the European Union (EU) are as easy and fast as the equivalent domestic transactions. It would also increase competition between banks, Xinhua reported.
Moreover, it would bring better banking services for all, including transparent pricing, valuable guarantees ensuring that payments are received promptly and fully, and banks assuming their responsibility.
The introduction of the euro has helped to make a cash payment easy in the euro zone, but when transferring money from one's home bank account to an account in another euro zone country, the payment could take much longer. Sometimes, the beneficiary did not get the full amount.
In the new SEPA world a customer can make electronic payments to any beneficiary located anywhere in the euro area using a single bank account and a single set of payment instructions.