The Single Euro Payments Area ( SEPA ) is a European Union regulation that is supposed to simplify financial transactions. It comes into effect fully in just under a year – on 1st February 2014.
It will mean that from 1st February 2014 an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and a Bank Identifier Code (BIC) will be required to make / receive euro electronic payments. This applies to payments within Ireland as well as to/from other EU countries.
From 1 February 2014 all euro credit transfers and direct debits must operate under the new system. A key component of the new system is that the IBAN will replace bank account numbers and the Bank Identifier Code (BIC) will replace bank sort codes.
If you set up any new direct debits before Feb 2014 you may be asked to provide your IBAN and BIC . No changes are needed for existing direct debit mandates.
Businesses will have to change payroll and accounting systems to include IBANs and BICs. Many systems have been updated already since the rollout of SEPA began in 2008