Accuity Outlines Penalties for SEPA Infringements

Payment and compliance software specialist Accuity has released research entitled
‘Penalties for infringements of SEPA regulation’
, in light of the impending single European payments area (SEPA) deadline date of 1 February 2014.

The paper notes that with less than 100 days to go, migration to SEPA requires payments to the eurozone to utilise international bank account numbers (IBANs) rather than legacy base bank account numbers (BBANs). Businesses not ready by the deadline could see delays in payment processes, increased operating costs and potentially serious cash flow consequences.

All businesses making or receiving payments in euros are obliged to comply with SEPA regulation and those that have not begun the move from BBAN to IBAN-compliant payment messages need to do so now to avoid potential penalties or fines. Businesses that think they can delay starting SEPA migration will inevitably fail to meet the deadline and could incur significant penalties, outlined in the research.

SEPA regulation requires the use of IBAN and the connected routing bank identifier code (BIC) for payment messages for euro countries by 1 February 2014, and 31 October 2016 for all other non-euro SEPA countries. However, if businesses in non-euro countries aren’t supplying payments in IBAN after the 1 February 2014 end date, payments could be rejected. It is still important for non-euro countries to be aware of the deadline to help ensure there will be no rejections when sending payments.

“With less than 100 days until the deadline, banks need to advise their corporate customers on becoming SEPA compliant,” says Micah Willbrand, Accuity’s director of risk and payments for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

“SEPA is an ongoing discussion about how we can best optimise payments in Europe rather than a one-off event. Businesses can’t assume that converting once is all that is required. Data in the payments industry decays over time, and as a verifier and distributor of payments data, Accuity is dedicated to keeping our data up-to-date.”


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