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SEPA reaches its tenth anniversary

Thursday 8th February, 2018

Ten years ago the European Payments Council (EPC) launched the very first Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payment scheme for credit transfers.

In order to harmonise credit transfer rules in Europe all national euro credit transfer schemes run by SEPA countries had to be replaced by the pan-European SCT.

This was the first concrete step of the SEPA project a European Union initiative support by EPC. In 1999 when the euro was introduced as the common currency for millions of Europeans it was a major advance in European integration.

The purpose of SEPA is to make it as easy and convenient to pay with the same card and payment account in one’s home country than in the rest of Europe.

Ten years after the launch of the SCT scheme, SEPA is truly anchored into our daily payment habits. The journey towards fully standardised European payments is far from over, with new challenges arising from the digitalisation of our society.

On 21 November 2017 at the start of the SCT nearly 600 payment service providers (PSPs) from eight European countries were offering instant payment solutions based on SCT Inst.

Today, more than 520 million citizens live in SEPA and make 122 billion electronic payments every year.