SEPA to Migrate to ISO 20022 Next March

Sepa Credit Transfer, Sepa Instant Credit Transfer, Sepa Direct Debit Core, and SDD Business-to-Business are postponed to migrate to ISO 20022 in March 2024, instead of this November.

SEPA to Migrate to ISO 20022 Next March

The European Payments Council (EPC) announced it would postpone the migration of SEPA payment schemes to the 2019 version of the ISO 20022-based XML messaging standard scheduled this November to Sunday 17 March 2024.

The regulator has thoroughly analyzed the readiness of SEPA payment scheme participants for the upcoming migration, assessing the operational migration status with all self-declared SEPA payment scheme-compliant Clearing and Settlement Mechanisms (CSMs).

It appeared that two of the large participating countries were not ready to introduce the new messaging standard to their SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT), SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst), SEPA Direct Debit Core (SDD Core) and SDD Business-to-Business (SDD B2B) schemes. They asked for additional testing or experienced operational delays.

Therefore, EPC decided to postpone the overall migration process so as not to hinder the safety and integrity of cross-border SEPA payments. Until next March, the 2021 SEPA payment scheme rulebooks and related IGs remain in effect.

“We thank the SEPA payment scheme participants and CSMs which were properly prepared for the migration, but the reachability, stability and integrity of the SEPA payment schemes is our highest priority. The PSP communities and all stakeholders may be reassured that the EPC will take every possible measure to secure the success of the migration in the new proposed date.“

Giorgio Andreoli, Director General of the European Payments Council

ISO 20022 is a multi-part International Standard by ISO Technical Committee TC68 Financial Services. It describes a common platform for developing messages in financial business areas, business transactions and associated message flows.

The standard aims to enable communication interoperability between financial institutions, their market infrastructures and their end-user communities. ISO standardizes the conventional data objects of various financial institutions and groups them into ‘syntax-neutral’ message models, which can be ‘transformed’ in message formats in the desired syntax. That facilitates the co-existence of separate payment systems and helps reach universal payment industry convergence into one standard in the long run.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.