BRUSSELS, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) would become fully operational in all euro zone countries on August 1, 2014, said the European Commission on Thursday.
It would also apply to euro-denominated transactions in non-euro zone countries from October 30, 2016, said the Commission.
The SEPA would create a true European Single Market for retail payments in euro, where transfers, direct debits and payments between member states of the European Union (EU) are as easy and fast as the equivalent domestic transactions. It would also increase competition between banks.
Moreover, it would bring better banking services for all, including transparent pricing, valuable guarantees ensuring that payments are received promptly and fully, and banks assuming their responsibility.
The introduction of the euro has helped to make a cash payment easy in the euro zone, but when transferring money from one's home bank account to an account in another euro zone country, the payment could take much longer, and sometimes the beneficiary did not get the full amount.