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Sentenial Welcomes Extension of SEPA Migration By EU Commission

Decision Will Avoid Chaos of Payment Shutdown on February 1st.

Financial technology firm Sentenial has welcomed the European Commission’s decision to allow a 6 grace period beyond the deadline for businesses to comply with the Single Euro Payments Area system (SEPA). Today EU Commissioner Michel Barnier said he would allow banks to temporarily continue processing non-SEPA compliant payments and direct debits until 1st August.

Sentenial is Europe’s leading SEPA solution provider and implementation partner, whose technology has been chosen by 5 out of Europe’s top 10 banks and in Ireland is used by all the main clearing banks.

Commenting on today’s announcement Sentenial CEO Sean Fitzgerald said:
“We have consistently warned that companies have not been allowing sufficient time to accommodate the complexities of SEPA when readying their systems in advance of the EU deadline. Today’s announcement is welcome as it will avoid the potential for payments chaos which underprepared businesses would have experienced if the 1st February deadline was rigidly enforced. It is crucial now that non-compliant firms use the 6 month grace period to implement robust SEPA systems because it is highly unlikely that any further extension will be granted.

According to an ISME survey last month only 22% of the SMEs were SEPA compliant, indicating that many firms are either not aware of the need to change or are leaving preparations to the last minute. This Irish data is reflected in Commissioner Barnier’s update that only 26% of firms across Europe were ready for changes to direct debit systems.

Earlier this month Sentential launched its Origix Corporate Lite product which enables SMEs to achieve full SEPA compliance and move all their payments and direct debit data to the cloud for as little as €40 a month or €395 per year.

Sean Fitzgerald continues:
“Companies should be aware that this is only the first step in a new approach to payments in Ireland and across the Eurozone. Many changes to payment schemes and rules will be introduced annually as new rule books are published by the European Payments Council. Sentenial will be continuously updating its services to comply with any changes ensuring our clients are future proofed as the market evolves.”

Companies that have not upgraded their systems to SEPA by the new 1st August deadline will find that credit transfers and direct debits will cease to function, meaning suppliers and staff cannot be paid, and customers’ payments will not be received.

About Sentenial
Sentenial is Europe’s leading SEPA solution provider and implementation partner, working with over 100 leading European bank and corporate clients. Sentenial has the most comprehensive and secure SEPA payment offering available, making it the trusted choice for payment technology solutions. The company was founded by chief executive Sean Fitzgerald in 2003 and has rapidly grown to a team of over 160 people with local sales and support offices in 6 European cities. Sentenial prides itself on rapidly delivering best in class solutions to surpass client’s ever-changing needs.

About SEPA
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) will provide a common payment processing system across the European Union, enabling cross-border payments to be completed as easily as domestic transfers. SEPA allows companies to operate across Europe with one bank account - based in whichever country best suits the corporate needs. This simplifies banking relationships and allows better control of money. SEPA introduces competition between banks that offer payment services with the intention of lowering costs within the EU. All bank accounts will be defined by specific bank identifier codes (BIC) and International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN).

Lundi 13 Janvier 2014