As from 1st February 2014, the provisions of the SEPA Regulation will come into force, and this implies some changes in the businesses' payment processes.
In particular, by 1st February all national and cross-border credit transfers and direct debits in euro within the Single Euro Payments Area will have to meet the SEPA standards.
Also, the Basic Bank Account Numbers (BBANs) will be replaced by International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs), and a Bank Identifier Code (BIC) – also referred to as the Bank SWIFT Code – will need to be quoted for all such payments.
The session was opened by Dr Angelo Chetcuti, Press and Political Officer at the European Commission Representation in Malta. Ms Abigail Psaila Mamo, Head of the Europe Direct office in Valletta, then introduced the role of her office as one of the Commission's main tools to offer information to citizens and gather their feedback for the European Institutions.
Mr Herman Ciappara, Head of the Payments and Banking Department of the Central Bank of Malta, went into detail explaining the benefits and impacts the SEPA Regulation will bring forward, while Mr Vincent Demicoli, from the Malta Bankers Association, addressed the aspects businesses need to take into account to be prepared for the migration to the new Regulation.
An open debate between the public and the speakers closed the session.