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Whether you are already trading internationally or considering doing so, SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area) Payments can help you to take your business to the next level.

What is SEPA?

Ali Moiyed
Ali Moiyed

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) allows customers to make and receive payments in Euros across any of the 34 SEPA countries. It is quick, efficient and helps to improve cash visibility for firms trading across Europe.

Why choose SEPA Direct Debits?

SEPA Direct Debits (SDD) allow businesses to collect money automatically from anyone with a bank account in a SEPA country, just as you do with UK Direct Debits. It makes collecting payments faster and can help to reduce missed or late payments, saving time and money. Using SEPA Direct Debits can help you to expand your business, targeting new customers in new countries.

How SEPA Direct Debits work

There are a few restrictions in place when it comes to SEPA Direct Debits:

  • Both the business and the customer must have an account with a PSP in one of the SEPA countries
  • Accounts can be held in any currency but transfers will always take place in Euros

Similar to Direct Debits in the UK, a paper or electronic Direct Debit Mandate must be filled out and signed by the customer.

The advantages of SEPA Direct Debit

Those signing up to the SEPA Direct Debit scheme will use the Core Scheme to collect payments from customers. You can collect single or recurring payments, which in effect means you can offer your new European customers the same payment options as those in the UK. So, what benefits does the SDD core scheme bring?

  • Extend your trade to new territories and target new customers
  • Automated payments means no more chasing late or missed payments – more time to focus on your business
  • Easier to plan finances and forecast with enhanced cash visibility

Of course, the most obvious benefit is no more missed or late payments from European customers. Handy when you can’t exactly visit them to chase payments!

Next steps to SEPA

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level and take advantage of all the SEPA scheme has to offer, you’ll first need to ensure that Direct Debts are a popular payment method for the country you are targeting. Next, it’s time to find a suitable payment provider; you’ll need to ensure that they offer a full SEPA payment solution, including SEPA Direct Debits. Then, you’ll need to get SEPA ready – the deadline has recently been extended to 1st August 2014, but it’s a good idea to start the process of compliance now.

Author Bio: Ali Moiyed is one of the payments industry’s true pioneers. Frustrated by the slow pace of innovation within global payments, Ali created AccessPay using ground-breaking cloud-based technology to remove unnecessary cost and complexity from payments processing, cash management and treasury systems.