“Following the recent announcement from the European Commission proposing a six-month grace period for SEPA implementation (from 1st February until 1st August), it was yet to be determined how this proposal would be implemented at a national level. The Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) has today confirmed that the grace period will last two months in Ireland, and that all businesses must complete their migration to SEPA by 31st March 2014”.
“It is estimated that over 90% of businesses in Ireland have completed migration to SEPA standards, therefore we would urge businesses to use this grace period as an opportunity to test their new systems in a live environment to avoid any teething issues. Those businesses that are in the process of implementation should still aim for the legal end date of 1st February 2014. However, the small percentage of businesses who are not yet compliant should take action now as it takes eight to 12 weeks to fully migrate to SEPA. Their first step should be to contact their bank and their software provider who will advise what needs to be done.”
“SEPA is only one of five initiatives in the National Payments Plan. Businesses need to ensure they are also ready for the e-Day deadline on 19th September 2014. e-Day aims to reduce cheque usage in the economy and from the 19th September all central government, local authorities and State agencies will no longer issue or accept cheques. SMEs are either issuers or receivers of 60% of all cheques in Ireland so it is crucial that they are prepared for this change.”
To find out more about SEPA visit www.sage.ie/sepa