Migration to Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

In Estonia, consumers, businesses and public sector institutions have been ensured with a smooth transition to SEPA.

Migration to SEPA in Estonia:

  1. Banks will complete preparations for full SEPA migration by 1 February 2014. Currently, of the entire payment traffic of Estonia, only cross-border euro payments within the EEA comply with SEPA technical and business requirements. After 1 February 2014, all payment orders will be changed to comply with SEPA.
  2. Estonia is going to use a one-year transition period (until 1 February 2015 with an option to extend it for a further 12 months). During that time, banks may provide payment conversion services to consumers (changeover to the IBAN format) and businesses (changeover to the ISO 20022 XML format). The transition period is necessary because banks will be unable to complete their respective preparations by 1 February 2014, so consumers and businesses cannot be required to adapt to changes at the same time.
  3. Estonia will not migrate to SEPA direct debits. Instead, a new payment service based on e-invoicing and SEPA credit transfers will be launched (called the e-invoice standing order service). The provision of the domestic direct debit service will terminate on 31 January 2014. The transition to the new payment service will start in the second half of 2013.
  4. SEPA direct debits will be introduced as a separate service. The service will be made available for payers, enabling them to pay for products and services purchased from Europe on a cross-border basis. In providing the service, banks must ensure payer protection measures as stated by the SEPA regulation (for example, direct debit periodicity, limit, blacklist).
  5. SEPA communication, press relations. Eesti Pank supports information activities and press relations using their own channels – the Estonian Payment Forum, press releases, press events, homepage. Banks use their own channels to communicate with customers and they organise seminars. Currently no media campaigns are planned.

Read more from Bank of Estonia website

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