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September 20, 2013
Are you ready for SEPA?
By Frederic Portal, Ataway Director of Strategy and Alliance
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More than a decade ago, the European Union launched an initiative to simplify bank transfers in euros.

The project's aim is to improve the efficiency of cross-border payments and turn the fragmented national markets for euro payments into a single domestic one. The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) will enable organizations to make euro payments to anyone located anywhere in the SEPA area, using a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments.

The SEPA project focuses on three payment instruments: credit transfers, direct debits and payment cards. The European Payments Council (EPC) has developed payment schemes for credit transfers and direct debits. These schemes are defined in rulebooks that cover the rules, practices and standards applicable to SEPA payment instruments.

SEPA includes common financial instruments, standards, procedures, and infrastructure to enable economies of scale. This should, in turn, reduce the overall cost to the European economy of moving capital around the region (estimated as two to three percent of total GDP).

SEPA is entering its final migration phase for two SEPA payment instruments:

  • • By February 1, 2014, all retail CT and DD in the euro area need to fulfill SEPA requirements. (Regulation 260/2012)
  • • Niche products with specific characteristics transition phase until February 1, 2016.
  • • For EU member states with currencies other than the euro, the respective end-date is October 31, 2016 for all credit transfers and direct debits in euro.

Within less than six months, organizations must have systems in place to participate in the unified European payments market. But many organizations still aren’t ready for the changes. How can your organization get prepared?

PeopleSoft SEPA Support

PeopleSoft customers have two options to support SEPA.

Financial Gateway

The first option, which is recommended, is to implement Financial Gateway. Financial Gateway is part of Cash Management, a payment hub that dramatically increases the productivity of payment processing while decreasing an organization's overall processing costs. It lowers expenses by removing the time-consuming and costly tasks of printing and mailing paper-based payments. Oracle's PeopleSoft Financial Gateway provides a single platform for organizations using PeopleSoft Enterprise Payables, eSettlements, Receivables, Expenses, Global Payroll and Cash Management solutions.

Financial Gateway helps organizations process payments, load and review payment requests for review and process payments automatically. PeopleSoft Financial Gateway connects your organization directly to your banks, providing a library of international and domestic payments and bank statement messages.

Customization

The second option is to do a customization.

Organizations will have to support ISO20022 XML messages for credit transfers and direct debits in euro. They’ll also have to maintain and manage the mandates for Direct Debit.

The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) will be the sole payment account identifier for national and cross-border credit transfers and direct debits in euro within the EU starting February 1, 2014.

Organizations may still be asked to provide a Business Identifier Code (BIC) until February 1, 2014 for national payments and until  February 1, 2016 for cross-border payments.

Ataway helps customers support SEPA either by implementing Financial Gateway or customizing PeopleSoft application.

Consult with Ataway’s Team of Experts today, and learn how we can provide SEPA Solutions for your business.

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