New statistics released by the European Central Bank (ECB) show that migration to the single euro payments area (SEPA) “gathered pace strongly” in December, and the body is urging corporates and small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to still target the original February compliance deadline.
The SEPA migration end date was delayed by six months to 1 August 2014 by the European Commission (EC) earlier this month but the ECB and others have yet to sign off on this and maintain that every effort should still go into trying to meet the original 1 February deadline for the cross-border payments harmonisation project.
According to the latest figures provided by the Eurosystem national central banks via the ECB, 74% of SEPA credit transfers (SCTs) in the euro area were already SEPA-compliant at the end of December last year, a rise from 64% the month before. For SEPA direct debits (SDDs), the latest compliance figure stands at 41%, “a very steep increase from the 26% registered in November”.
The ECB continued that “the December figures show that, if the current pace of migration continues, the vast majority of stakeholders will complete their migration by 1 February 2014”.
“The ECB urges all market participants to continue their current migration pace and to complete the transition of all credit transfer and direct debit transactions to the SEPA standards by 1 February 2014,” it concluded in a statement which clearly outlines its wish to continue driving toward the original end date for this long-running project.
The latest migration figures can be seen on the ECB SEPA Indicators website.