A couple of months have passed since the post SEPA Deadline: 1st February 2016 – The Countdown Begins. Many of us are busy with other projects, and as a result putting back the SEPA preparation that needs to happen in order to ensure readiness for February 2016. In this post, I am going to make 5 suggestions detailing what you should do right now to help you understand what is changing and how to prepare for and ensure readiness within your organisation.
1. SEPA February 2016 – What’s Happening?
Read the post SEPA Deadline: 1st February 2016 – The Countdown Begins for further details, in a nutshell – for SEPA transactions, the:
- IBAN number must always be indicated
- BIC is no longer mandatory for ‘cross border’ transactions – i.e. the ‘IBAN Only’ rule comes into effect
- SEPA ISO20022 XML format must be used
- Payment card direct debits are no longer allowed
- Niches products will no longer be supported and will need to be converted into SEPA
2. Talk to your Bank(s)
I don’t want to keep plugging my own post, but read SEPA Deadline: 1st February 2016 – The Countdown Begins and understand if, and how, you are impacted. Once you get your head around that, go and talk to your bank(s) and clarify any gaps that you may have.
You should know this already, but double check with your bank(s) if you are sending them any formats that are not SEPA compliant. In the countries impacted by SEPA 2016, can the bank support the SEPA formats ? Understand from the bank, what you need to change…
3. Talk to your In-Country Contacts
In some instances, the local in country teams may hold a direct relationship with the bank(s) and will probably know more about the specific niche products. Leverage their knowledge and understand the required changes, but make sure you keep track of what needs to happen – even though the in-country teams will be handling the day to day changes.
4. Identify which Systems Are Impacted
Once you understand what is changing and how your organisation will be impacted by the February 2016 deadline, you can start to map out which systems are involved. Contact the relevant IT teams to let them know of the SEPA 2016 deadline, and ensure they can provide the necessary resources for the required changes.
5. Send out a SEPA Communication
Let the relevant people within your organisation know that SEPA 2016 is happening, and that it is a European regulatory project. Share details of what is changing and how they will be impacted. This will ensure that you have the early support of the management within your organisation, which can often help getting resources assigned to the SEPA project.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail..” ― Benjamin Franklin
From June we have 8 months until the 1st February 2016 deadline, right now time is on our side. But if you consider time lost in getting information that will help you understand what needs to change in your organisation, resource availability, upcoming holiday periods (particularly Summer and Christmas) it can often considerably reduce the amount of available time. With that in mind, the SEPA February 2016 is much closer than you think…