The EESC supports the European Commission in the establishment of the single euro payment area (SEPA). The fact that cashless transactions can be performed from one account to anywhere in Europe using uniform payment procedures is an important step towards completion of the single market.
However, the EESC considers that individual points of the proposal for a regulation need to be modified to ensure a smooth transition in the interests of consumers and businesses, as users, and banks as providers.
The EESC considers the deadlines stipulated in the proposed regulation for the mandatory transition to SEPA payment transactions to be too short. Fitness for purpose, security and user-friendliness can only be ensured if all financial institutions have sufficient time to prepare. For credit transfers, the implementation deadline should not be just one year, but three years following entry into force of the regulation. For direct debits, the deadline should not be two years after the regulation enters into force, but four years.