After the successful introduction of euro cash, creating a single market for cashless euro payments was the logical next step. The idea behind the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is to use uniform procedures and standards for euro payments across Europe.
An important prerequisite for the smooth processing of cashless payments are harmonized formats, systems and rules. Currently, however, these differ from country to country. Implementing identical SEPA formats for credit transfers, direct debits and card payments has therefore been high on the SEPA agenda. In a nutshell, any distinction between cross-border and national payments will be obsolete in SEPA.
SEPA enables customers to make cashless euro payments easy, efficient and safe from just one account by using harmonized payment instruments.