As the European Commission officially stated in its press release of today, 9 January 2014, a transitional period shall be introduced for the SEPA migration. This proposal, however, still needs to be ratified and implemented within national law. The formal SEPA deadline of 1 February 2014 will remain valid, but with such a transitional period banks and financial service providers would be allowed to accept payments in the legacy formats until 1 August 2014.
The proposal was made by the Commission in reaction to the low levels of SEPA migration achieved by last November, when only 26 % of all direct debits were processed in SEPA formats. The European Commission thus estimates that not all SEPA stakeholders would be ready for SEPA in time for the original deadline.
Companies that are still facing difficulties in their SEPA migration project may sigh with relief for now. However, they will need to make all efforts to complete their SEPA projects as soon as possible, since the European Commission has made it clear that there would be no further extension of the deadline.
If you have not yet made your mandates SEPA compliant, you may be interested in our specialised FinanceSuite Mandate Management software for SEPA. If you would like to know more about the effective software or if you seek support for your SEPA project, please feel free to contact us. We will be glad to help you.