OREANDA-NEWS. May 13, 2008. January 28 was an important day for Medicinos Bankas and the entire European financial market. Joining Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) allows the clients to make non-cash Euro payments to other European banks easier and quicker, reported the press-centre of Medicinos Bankas.

SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) – represents single payment services throughout Europe. This allows Euro payments to 31 European countries in the same form, method and under the same conditions. SEPA joins all EU member-states as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Euro payments become uniform both within and outside the countries of Euro area. The banks outside Euro area including Medicinos Bankas have joined SEPA and therefore, their clients will also be able to use SEPA payment instruments.

The single area has been created pursuant to the Directive on Payment Services (PSD) adopted by the European Parliament on April 24, 2007. PSD has been designed to assure simplicity, efficiency and safety for international EU payments, especially credit transfers and direct debit transfers and card payments, to the same extent as domestic payments. The above Directive establishes legal basis for development of a single Euro payment area. Moreover, the Directive strengthens rights and security for users of any payment service (users, retailers, large and small sized companies and governmental institutions).

Payments in domestic currencies remain unchanged. A full package of SEPA services will be introduced within 3 years i.e. by the end of the year 2010.

SEPA offers the following payment instruments:

SEPA payment transfers feature non-cash payments (in Euro only) among the banks within SEPA system since January 28, 2008. SEPA requires specifying account number in IBAN format, BIC and SHA payments. SEPA assures receipt of full payment amount within 3 banking days.

SEPA direct debit transfers - Joining SEPA system allows clients to make direct debit payments for services rendered by other EU member states. For example, the clients may make payments for phone or other services to the service providers located outside the Republic of Lithuania. Besides, Lithuania-based service providers accepting payments by direct debit are allowed to receive direct debit payments in a single bank account. The scheme requires the Debtor to issue a consent to the Creditor for deduction of amounts. Similar to credit payment transfers, indication of IBAN account and BIC is an obligation.

SEPA payment card services - a key goal of application of SEPA peinciples in the field of payment cards is to create an "open" area for payment card operations and unify payment card products from the point of view of their functionality, price-making and security. The above principles have been specified in the SEPA Cards Framework (SCF) approved by European Payments Council (EPC).

Medicinos Bankas has been implementing SEPA products pursuant to the SEPA plan for transitional period.