SEPA – Questions and Answers
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- What are the new products Gallinat-Bank has introduced since the beginning of 2008?
- I am a business client - in what way do I benefit frm SEPA?
- I am a private client - what advantages does the Single Euro Payments Area offer for me?
- Which countries are the members of the Single Euro Payments Area?
- Are there any transitional periods or do I have to switch to the new payment instruments immediately?
1. What are the new products Gallinat-Bank has introduced since the beginning of 2008?
The euro transfer as a new SEPA product is based on the “EU standard credit transfer” that was introduced in 2003. The bank accounts of the transferring party and the beneficiary are identified through IBAN and BIC. The receiving account is credited after three working days at the latest, just as is the case with domestic transfers. Standardised rules apply for the handling of rejected or returned transfers.
With the euro direct debit funds can since November 2010 be withdrawn from accounts in the single European market. The procedure is similar to the German direct debit authorization system. The basis is a mandate from the debtor which authorises the creditor to withdraw the funds. The direct debit has a fixed due date. The bank accounts are identified through IBAN and BIC. Every issuer of a direct debit has a unique identifier. Standardised rules apply for the handling of rejected or returned transfers. Application depends on the legal context.
With SEPA, bank cards are even more useable within the single market. This is especially the case for the Gallinat-BankCard, your key to your account. The SEPA Cards Framework defines general basic standards that card systems must have, which further facilitate payments in Europe. The Gallinat-BankCard and the German “electronic cash” system already fulfill these requirements. This means that on the basis of chip technology, the same standards for card payments apply European wide.
2. I am a business client – in what way do I benefit from SEPA?
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) offers many opportunities, advantages and possibilities especially for internationally operating companies:
- Control all your euro transactions within the single market via your account with us.
- Benefit from easier, more efficient and faster transfer.
- Use the new direct debit to set the date of the cash inflow from your billing yourself.
- Enjoy a higher level of security thanks to standardized regulation.
- Optimise your liquidity management abroad (within Europe).
- Seize opportunities and exploit savings potential.
- Rely on our competent support throughout the changeover to the new payment applications.
3. I am a private client – what advantages does the Single Euro Payments Area offer for me?
You can use the SEPA products for domestic and international payments in the European Single Market. With the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), your mobility within this market is facilitated and increased:
- Only one account is necessary for payments within the single market
- Payments are carried out in a simpler and faster way
- More acceptance points
- Uniform standards
- Uniform account identification with IBAN and BIC
4. Which countries are the members of the Single Euro Payments Area?
The SEPA products apply within the European Union (EU) including the French overseas departments of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Réunion, the Spanish Canary Isles, the exclaves Ceuta and Melilla, the Portuguese Azores and Madeira, Switzerland, Monaco and the three additional member states of the European Economic Area (EEA).
The countries currently are: EU (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Cyprus) and EEA-Countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway).
Discussions are currently underway to adopt a separate system of the SEPA principles for Asia and the Arabic countries.
5. Are there any transitional periods or do I have to switch to the new payment instruments immediately?
The new payment instruments for the European Single Market are for the time being offered in addition to the national procedures. As a result, you can since 2008 choose between the domestic and European procedures when conducting domestic transactions.