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CopyBasic information regarding SEPA

Basic information about SEPA

The introduction of the euro as the single currency and the subsequent creation of the possibility to use this single currency in the cash domain within the euro area countries triggered the common effort to create the single payment area covering also cashless payments. The project, which is aimed to unify the rules and standards in the implementation of cashless payments, was called SEPA – (Single Euro Payments Area). The basic aim of SEPA is, simply said, the practical removal of the boundaries for the execution of cashless payments in Euro. Within SEPA consumers, businesses and other economic operators, therefore, are able to send and receive payments in Euro, whether within a country or between countries, under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, and no matter in which country they have held a payment account. A direct result of the implementation of the SEPA payment instruments is the replacement of domestic payment instruments, in particular for credit transfers and direct debits with common SEPA payment instruments. SEPA payments are carried out according to the same rules, the same procedures and in accordance with the same standards in all SEPA countries (Iceland, Norway, the European Union countries plus Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco).

The realization of harmonization in the implementation of the SEPA project brought to the practice of millions of everyday retail payments. This harmonization process was supported by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, national central banks, and payment service providers to deliver new benefits for both consumers and for businesses that make payments in euro.

An increasing number of people in Europe live outside of their home country or they carry out regular payments abroad which means the need for accounts in several countries, or also the possible emergence of problems that cross-border transactions bring with them. In the case of direct debit even it was not possible to take advantage of this payment instrument cross-border.

Thanks to SEPA it is not necessary for payment service user to held one account in the Slovak Republic and the second one in another SEPA country and at the same time, as mentioned, SEPA was ceased any differences between domestic and cross-border transactions.