After 15 years of work, the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) has been successfully implemented for credit transfers and direct debits in the euro area. Every month more than 2bn payments will now flow across the euro area in new standardised formats. “The successful completion of SEPA further accelerates Europe’s financial integration”, said Yves Mersch, ECB executive board member. “It removes barriers to credit transfers and direct debits which will no longer impede businesses or consumers.” In fact, it will allows consumers to use just one euro bank account for all credit transfers and direct debits, no matter where in Europe the recipients or businesses may be. Designed to make cross-border euro payments as cheap and straightforward as domestic ones, the UK has until 2016 to adhere to the regulations. However, with all other countries in the eurozone needing to comply by today (1 August 2014), UK businesses could be missing out on valuable transactions by waiting another two years. And with research commissioned by international electronic payment specialists PPRO Group citing that 53 per cent of UK consumers choose not to complete an online purchase due to preferred choice of payment method not being made available; a familiar, trusted and consistent payment process – whatever territory you are in ? is crucial to improving conversion rates and encouraging global growth. By Shan? Schutte
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