Businesses in Malta are being encouraged to prepare for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) with a focus on its business advantages. Gordon Scicluna, on behalf of the Malta Bankers Association explains how SEPA will bring more efficient cash management and better access to new markets through more consistent domestic and international Euro payments processes.
With the 1st February 2014 deadline for SEPA compliance steadily approaching, companies are being advised by SEPA specialists and other industry leaders to make the relevant improvements to their systems and processes so as to realise the benefits and opportunities SEPA can deliver.
SEPA is a payment-integration initiative of the European Union developed to to make Europe more dynamic and competitive by offering a single format and standardised payment schemes across all 28 EU member states as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Norway, and Switzerland.
“This represents a major step towards a true single European market. Once fully adopted, organisations will benefit from simplified processes, reduced costs and improved liquidity. Doing business with partners across the SEPA zone will become as accessible and straightforward as sending and receiving domestic payments explained Gordon Scicluna.
Other benefits include simpler processes and consolidated bank accounts for a centralised source of funding and improved overall working capital management. Time and money are saved as fewer accounts are required and straight-through processing is improved through standardising payments formats.
“The Banking community in Malta is focused on helping businesses see SEPA for what it truly is - a unique opportunity to re-engineer their bank account and liquidity management structures to streamline processes. Since 2008, MBA has provided companies of all types and sizes with information as they migrate to SEPA,” said Mr Scicluna. “With proper planning and preparation, migration to the SEPA infrastructure may be embraced as a very positive development with significant benefits for businesses and customers alike.”