SEPA will create a single euro payments area. People will be able to make payments in euro all over Europe as easily as if they were making a payment in their home town. Not only will this be more convenient, it will also strengthen the internal market, enhance competition, improve efficiency and contribute to economic prosperity.

Following the introduction of euro notes and coins in 2002, attention has now turned to harmonising the diverse national and cross‐border retail payment
systems for the euro. Integrating these systems is a natural step towards making the euro a truly single and fully functioning currency. From the moment the euro was introduced, so were payment systems for transferring ‘wholesale’ payments for the financial markets and for large corporations.

The SEPA programme is all about harmonising millions of everyday ‘retail’
payments. This major harmonisation programme is supported by Europe’s banks and will deliver new benefits to consumers and businesses who make euro payments. As a result, there will be a number of changes to today’s commonly used payments in order to provide SEPA‐wide standardised instruments.
In short SEPA will help to realise the benefits of the Single Market in goods and services.


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