Irish SMEs need to start their Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) preparations now to ensure they’re compliant before the 1 February 2014 deadline, Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD, said today.
He was speaking following a presentation to the Advisory Group for Small Business on the implications for businesses if they are not SEPA compliant by that date.
SEPA is an initiative within a 32-country European zone, which will mean a common way of processing electronic credit transfers, payments and direct debits.
It will change the way euro electronic payments are processed across Europe. It will mean that businesses can make and receive payments seamlessly, collect a direct debit on any euro account or make a credit transfer to any euro account within SEPA.
On 1 February 2014 all national direct debits and credit transfers must be SEPA compliant. This will include everything from staff payroll, to paying creditors or receiving a euro electronic payment from customers within SEPA.
“SEPA will make banking systems compatible so that once you make a payment, or anybody in the 33-country area makes a payment, it’s guaranteed to arrive in the beneficiary’s account the next day. Some banks have introduced SEPA capability to their customers already in advance of the deadline of 1st February, 2014,” the Minister said.
“A key benefit for businesses will be faster settlement and simplified processes that will help to improve their cash flow and potentially help to reduce their costs.”