Rapid dating questions

The Single Euro Payments Area is an initiative of the European banking industry, represented by the European Payments Council, that is strongly supported by the Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB).The Commission and the ECB see SEPA as an integrated market for payment services which is subject to effective competition and where there is no distinction between cross-border and national payments within the euro area (see IP/07/550).

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EU 27, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), using a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments.

SEPA is thus a natural progression to the introduction of the euro and another major step in realising the full potential of the single market for Europe.

This provides legal certainty with respect to the fulfilment of any underlying obligation.

(Although most banks do not charge for the receipt of credit transfers, banks will be allowed to continue this practice.

As a result cross-border electronic payments remain more complicated, take longer to execute or simply do not exist (e.g. Inefficient cross-border payments mean that full benefits of the single market cannot be exploited.

By harmonising the European retail payments markets, corporates, public administrations, SMEs and consumers will be able to send and receive euro payments easily, safely and efficiently throughout the SEPA.

be able to pay with their payment cards as they would at home.

Consumers will not need to carry around lots of cash, since they will be able to use their payment cards anywhere at anytime, or to make withdrawals from cash machines, just as if they were at home.

to and from anywhere in SEPA: if a holiday home is rented on a long-term basis or if regular bills have to be paid in euro to a beneficiary in another SEPA country, consumers are able to pay these bills from their home country bank account by direct debit.

It will also open up many other possibilities for regular payments and subscriptions, such as foreign newspapers or magazines.

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is the area in which citizens, companies and other economic actors will be able to make and receive payments in euros, within Europe, whether between or within national boundaries under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of their location.

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