The European Commission announced an additional transition period for SEPA migration.
The European Commission will be prolonging the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) migration deadline by 6 months. The original deadline was February 1st 2014. The decision was made since a large number of merchants and businesses are yet to switch to the new SEPA card standards. As of November 2013 less than 65% of credit transactions were SEPA compliant, while less than 26% of debit transaction met the new standards.
The migration delays derive mainly from smaller to mid-size businesses who either due to logistical or financial issues have not yet shifted to the new payment standard. The European Commission stated the new deadline for these businesses is August 1st 2014. Businesses that are not compliant by August 1st will not be able to place credit or debit card transactions within the EURO Zone until meeting the SEPA standards.
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“As of today, migration rates for credit transfers and direct debits are not high enough to ensure a smooth transition to SEPA despite the important work already carried out by all involved. Therefore, I am proposing an additional transition period of 6 months for those payment services users who are yet to migrate. In practice this means the deadline for migration remains 1 February 2014 but payments that differ from a SEPA format could continue to be accepted until 1 August 2014,” an excerpt from the European Commission’s press release on the matter.
Recently, Volante Technologies released its SEPA Accelerator to assist businesses in making the transition to the new SEPA card regulations.