If you read our December 2010 post
about Sepa migration
we think you'll be again very interested in
new details on this theme, announced on Finextra:
The European Central Bank is
calling for an extension to the mandatory end-dates proposed by the
European Commission for the enforced introduction of new payments
instruments under the Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa)
See the news on Finextra (8 April 2011) or read
In December, the European
Commission proposed an end-2012 timeline
for the banking industry to move to new EU-wide credit
transfers and direct debits.
The ECB - which had initially been calling
for an end-2012 date for SCTs and a shift to SDDs taking place the
following year - has now revised its opinion, with the call for an
extended timetable buried in amendments in its formal response to
the European Commission's December paper.
Says the central bank: "Taking into
consideration the payment industry's need for sufficiently long
lead times, the ECB suggests setting concrete dates, which could
preferably be at the end of January 2013 for credit
transfers and the end of January 2014 for direct
Despite this, the ECB remains supportive of
the European Commission's push for binding regulation: "A Union
act of general application, binding in its entirety and directly
applicable in all Member States, is...considered essential for
successful migration to Sepa, as the project would otherwise face a
serious risk of failure."
The central bank is also calling on
Brussels to provide clear guidance on the regulation of interchange
fees for debit card transactions.
In 2009, the Commission introduced a
temporary default interchange fee for cross-border direct debits,
together with a temporary endorsement of national interchange fees
for direct debits. "Both of these Articles will no longer apply
on 1 November 2012," notes the ECB. "In order to avoid a
legal vacuum hampering migration to Sepa direct debit, it is
important that a long-term solution for interchange fees for direct
debits is established."