Firms face potential shut-down of payment systems in 20 days

6 Jan 2014

With the arrival of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) system on 1 February, businesses in Europe have just 20 days left to get their systems in order or risk seeing their credit transfers and direct debits cease to function.

According to an ISME survey last month, only 22pc of the SMEs were SEPA compliant, indicating that many firms are either not aware of the need to change or are leaving preparations to the last minute.

SEPA will be introduced on 1 February and provide a common payment processing system across the European Union.

Companies that have not upgraded their systems will find that credit transfers and direct debits will cease to function, meaning suppliers and staff cannot be paid, and customers’ payments will not be received.

Take action

“Companies that do not get ready for SEPA won’t be able to pay their staff or suppliers; it is as simple as that,” explained Sean Fitzgerald, CEO of Sentenial.

“However, it is certainly not too late to take action and hundreds of companies we are talking to started the New Year with upgrading to SEPA compliance at the top of their to do list.”

When the switchover to SEPA is made, Irish tech company Sentenial’s technology will be responsible for processing more than €60bn worth of payments a year for companies and banks across Europe. 

Sentenial today launched a cloud-based payment solution specifically for the SME market that provides a simple and safe option for companies to migrate their payment and direct-debit services to SEPA.

OC Lite enables SMEs to move all their payments and direct debit data to the cloud for €40 a month or €395 per year. The service is hosted on Sentenial’s Origix platform.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years