The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Project was conceived through a high-powered political process and has been loosely backed by EU Regulations. Breathing life into the concept demanded the wholehearted commitment of both the private and public sectors to drive the original SEPA vision to its fruition. The banking industry’s role, under the mandate of the European authorities, was to design and develop a single set of harmonised SEPA payment schemes
No matter where you look within the payment processing value chain, rapid technological advances and large-scale regulatory initiatives are working to transform the payments industry. That means for financial institutions and larger corporates alike, challenges and opportunities abound.
This Paper is the second in a series about the development of SEPA and the regulatory approach being adopted by the European Commission to drive the project and ultimately make SEPA a reality.
An IBAN is a string of characters and numbers which consists of a country code, a check digit and up to 30 account-specific alphanumeric characters that contain the bank or branch code as well as the account number. Each country’s banking authority is responsible for defining the length of this last portion of the IBAN, which is called the Basic Bank Account Number, or BBAN.
In a recent article published by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), Gerard Hartsink, chairman of the European Payments Council, confirms the view of most in Europe that the December 2010 announcement regarding the SEPA end date gives a clear path to mass migration. It also should push banks and corporate to modify systems and convert data to become SEPA compliant.
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