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News from the financial sectors in Spain and the Canary Islands
   News from the financial sectors in Spain and the Canary Islands

Linea Directa
What is SEPA?
Sepa. Means safe and efficient payments in Spain.

19.05.2014 - The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is making euro payments faster, safer and more efficient within the 34 EU countries.  It enables customers to make cashless euro payments to anyone within the EU.

What are the ways to pay using SEPA?

1. SEPA credit transfer

A single way to transfer funds nationally or anywhere within the EU.

2. SEPA direct debit

Now charges can be made directly to an account in one EU country for services provided by a company based in another country.

3. SEPA for cards

Customers can conveniently use the same cards they use for national purchases, anywhere in Europe.  Merchants will accept all cards, making payment processes easier and more attractive.

SEPA standards required for full introduction

  1. 1.   IBAN

IBAN is the International Bank Account Number that identifies your account anywhere in the world.  With a maximum of 34 digits it includes the following in order:

Two digits country code

Two digits check numbers

30 digits (max) account identification specific to each country

UK IBAN example: GB19 LOYD 3096 1700 7099 43

  1. 2.   BIC

BIC (Bank Identifier Code) numbers will be phased out for cross-border payments by February 2016.


All payment cards will be migrated from magnetic strip to EMV chip.  There is currently no date for completion.

Timeline for the SEPA process

The process began in 1999 and is now in the final migration phase.

February 2014: Credit transfers and direct debits in the EU should be carried out in accordance with the standards mentioned above.  A six month transition period is being introduced.

February 2016: For niche products with specific characteristics a longer transition phase is provided for in some countries.

31 October 2016: EU member states with non-euro currencies must adhere to standards set for credit transfers and direct debits in euros, by this end date.

SEPA indicators. Key facts at a glance.

SEPA credit transfers as a percentage of total EU transactions is 93.9 per cent*

SEPA direct debit as a percentage of total transactions is 80.3 per cent*

EMV transactions as a percentage of total transactions is 79.6 per cent**

*February 2014-03-21

**June 2013


We hope the information provided in this article is of interest.

If you would like to contact Linea Directa please call 902 123 104

More information on Linea Directa online at www.lineadirecta.com

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