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m-hance outlines key reasons for businesses to comply with SEPA following deadline extension Print E-mail
Wednesday, 29 January 2014

29th January 2014 - Business software provider m-hance today outlines the key reasons why organisations should ensure they are compliant with the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) legislation following the extension of the migration deadline to 1st August 2014. Recent statistics released by the European Central Bank (ECB) highlight that migration to SEPA gathered momentum leading up to the original 1 February 2014 deadline. 74 per cent of credit transfers were SEPA-compliant at the end of December 2013 (from 64 per cent in November 2013). SEPA-compliant direct debits also rose sharply to 41 per cent in December 2013, from 26 per cent in the month prior.

Andrew Hayward, Chief Operating Officer of m-hance, comments, “Although more businesses are becoming SEPA compliant this was anticipated as the original 1 February deadline was looming. More than half (59 per cent) of euro payments still need to be migrated to SEPA Direct Debits (SDD) so there is still some way to go before businesses are fully SEPA ready.”
Hayward continues, “Businesses cannot afford to be complacent as the EU Commission has stated that the transfer period will not be extended after 1st August, that’s just 133 working days away. Those who take proactive action now to ensure their financial management systems are SEPA-ready stand to gain significant cost and productivity savings, beyond just complying with new legislation.”
Hayward highlights the following key reasons why businesses should ensure their existing financial systems are SEPA compliant:
Maintain business continuity

Businesses within the SEPA area will no longer be able to process high and low-value payments, supplier payments and consumer payments using systems that do not conform to the new standardised formats. Non-compliance could place your entire business at risk if you are unable to make or collect payments, in addition to impacting the relationship you have with your customers and suppliers.

Being able to reconcile transactions from multiple sources using a financial management solution with an integrated SEPA module will give you peace of mind when 1st August arrives. Furthermore, time spent on manual, administrative tasks will be considerably reduced, giving you greater control over your business’s finances so you can focus on other important tasks. Organisations such as world leading international jewellery retailer, Anthony Nichols Group have saved up to ten working days each month by implementing m-hance’s bank reconciliation solution, which includes an integrated SEPA module.
Grow new revenue streams with simplified payment processes

Getting to grips with varying national payment methods can be significant barriers for businesses that are seeking to expand their revenues in foreign markets. In contrast, the simplified and standardised SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) payment schemes streamline payment processing for any company, irrespective of whether business is being conducted domestically or overseas. By taking advantage of this welcome unified payment structure, businesses can better plan and grow their international revenues by gaining easier trading access to new lucrative markets.
Improve cash flow through faster settlements

Organisations who take advantage of SEPA can free-up more day-to-day finances by capitalising on faster and cheaper euro payments, while centralising accounts payable and receivable functions. This will enable businesses to conduct and manage payments and collections more efficiently, while benefitting from holding fewer euro accounts, which could result in reduced working capital requirements and more efficient liquidity management. SEPA will also improve your business’s supply chain by making it much more seamless and faster to facilitate electronic payment and in turn reduce administration costs and boost cash flow.
Cut administration time and costs

SEPA compliant software solutions enable organisations to reduce costs associated with the processing of multiple national payment formats and inefficient administrative procedures. In addition, organisations who are compliant can make significant savings by eliminating costs resulting from delayed payments, as post SEPA deadline failed payments could potentially cost up to 50 euros per failed transaction.
Hayward comments, “Businesses who continue to overlook the benefits of SEPA compliant business software may find that their out-of-date systems will be responsible for an unacceptable number of errors, resulting in delayed and rejected payments, and failed transaction costs.”
Hayward adds, “Integrated finance solutions with tailored SEPA modules not only provide peace of mind ahead of the 1 August deadline, they also offer businesses a faster, more efficient way to reconcile transactions and provide significant efficiency savings by replacing manual processes.”

(Source - m-hance Press Release)


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