In 2013, the banks significatly increased their information and assistance initiatives to prepare for the deadline of 1 February, 2014, the date set by European institutions for the changeover to the SEPA format of all transfer and direct debit transactions in the SEPA area.
The swift adoption of the European regulation setting a date for completion of the migration to SEPA is essential for the mobilisation of all players. In France, the proportion of SEPA instruments is slowly increasing.
The FBF believes the European Regulation published by the European Commission on 16 December 2010 creates a handicap for the implementation of the SEPA payment scheme. The regulation establishes new technical and pricing requirements for SEPA credit transfers and direct debits, leading the National SEPA Committee* to express very strong concerns.
At its meeting hold on 3 June 2010, the national SEPA Committee analysed the progress of the migration of France to SEPA. As far as the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) is concerned, the take-up of public administrations is going on as planned.
French banks contest the European Commission's decision to prohibit multilateral interchange fees for direct debit transactions, commencing in 2012. This mechanism, which was submitted for consideration by the European Commission, does not deal with user rates and charges.
In a press release published on September 4, European professionals discovered the European Commission's position on the future European direct debit project (the equivalent of 'prélèvement' in France). The Commission stated in the press release that it did not accept the interbank invoicing mechanism currently in place and which is the economic model for this service.
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) was up and running in January 2008, with the arrival of the fi rst SEPA credit transfers in 31 countries(1). Preparing for this major event kept European bankers busy throughout 2007. This was also the case for French banks and such payment and processing systems as STET.
At 15 days from the start to the SEPA*, the French Banking Federation (FBF) notes that the European Commission has ruled against the interchange fees on cross-border transactions applied by an international debit card system.
This document draws together essential information about SEPA from a number of different perspectives. It provides some answers to questions such as What is SEPA? What geographical areas does it include? What has been delivered so far? When will this happen? Who will be responsible for implementation? What are some of the benefits? What should be done next? Etc.
As Europe is building up its single European payments area, via the EPC and the New Legal Framework, the French banks have worked out principles which should guide the construction of this single payments area. Thus, in novembre 2003, the French Banking Federation presented the European institutions with a paper entitled: " Five principles for making the single European payment area a success. "
The Association Française des Etablissements de Crédit et des Entreprises d'Investissement (AFECEI), the Fédération Bancaire Française and the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires "CB" are satisfied with the measures introduced by the Minister of Economics, Finance and Industry and aiming at reinforcing card payment security.