Andorra SEPA Payments

Andorra finally is a part of the SEPA zone. As of the 5th of March 2019, the Principality of Andorra joined the Single Euro Payments Area. As a result, the SEPA zone now consists of 36 European states. The creation of the Economic and Monetary Union and the introduction of Euro banknotes and coins have been decisive milestones for the existence of a single market in the European Union.

Since the introduction of the Euro in January 2002, you can make cash payments in the same currency in all eurozone countries, as easily and conveniently as it was previously in the national currencies.

At the same time, for the introduction of the Euro as a single currency to be complete, individuals and companies needed to be able to make payments throughout the eurozone without using cash. Setting a SEPA formula to issue and receive payments from a single bank account anywhere in the zone was crucial to keep transactions equally easy, cost-effective, efficient, and safe.

Are you doing business in Andorra or thinking about how to move to Andorra and transfer your savings? With SEPA payments enabled it will be much easier and faster for you to make transfers or direct debits to entities located in the SEPA zone due to the simplification of the procedures.

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What is SEPA?

Single Euro Payments Area, better known as SEPA is the area in which citizens, companies, and other economic entities can issue and receive payments in euros, with the same basic conditions, rights, and obligations, regardless of their location and whether or not these payments involve pan-European processes, i.e., whether or not they have taken place between different countries belonging to the SEPA area.

SEPA is based on three cross-border and pan-European payment instruments. Firstly, SEPA credit transfers replaced domestic credit transfers. Secondly, SEPA direct debits replaced domestic direct debits, and thirdly, today’s bank payment cards. These payment instruments do not differentiate between domestic and cross-border use and comply with international standards. SEPA represents a new European retail payment landscape characterized by a higher degree of integration.

Euro transactions of SEPA-regulated instruments are subject to a uniform set of standards, rules, and conditions and can be processed as easily, quickly, securely as they are processed within national markets. The objectives of SEPA are to consolidate the Euro and to increase the competitiveness of the banks to attract and retain customers with the promotion of technological innovation in European banking transactions.

SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) payments

The European authorities decided to retain three common payment instruments: bank transfers, direct debits, and payment cards. Consequently, SEPA represents a new scenario characterized by Euro payment harmonization through these three main types of electronic schemes.

SEPA Bank Transfers Types

The European banking industry and the EU institutions have defined the SEPA instruments for credit transfers and direct debits together with the “SEPA data format” for global ISO standards. SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) was successfully launched in January 2008. The SEPA Core Direct Debit (SDD) and SEPA Direct Debit Business to Business (SDD B2B) instruments were launched in November 2009, once the EU member states adopted a common legal framework for payments.

The latest SEPA product to appear is the immediate transfer, which complements the ordinary SEPA transfer that has been processed at the European level since 2008, providing real-time availability of funds in the beneficiary’s account on a 24/7 basis, as foreseen in the new “SCT Inst” scheme defined by the European Payments Council (EPC). The aim is to provide the interbank system with the capacity to process the new pan-European instrument, making it easier for banks to develop new attractive and efficient digital services that enhance the value of the current account and strengthen competitive position. Through the new SEPA Credit Transfer subsystem, immediate SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT Inst) are processed individually and in real-time, cleared, and settled utilizing account entry on the Eurosystem’s TARGET2 platform.

SEPA Countries List

SEPA is not restricted to the countries which have adopted the Euro as their single currency but covers all 28 member states of the EU as of today, plus four EFTA member states and several other states: Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican City, and the Principality of Andorra. Besides, the French overseas departments and regions of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion, as well as the territories of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Saint-Barthélemy, and the French part of Saint-Martin are an integral part of France and the European Union and are therefore included in the Eurozone and form part of the SEPA area. The same applies to the Portuguese territories of the Azores and Madeira. Likewise, several territories belonging to the United Kingdom are also integrated into the SEPA territory, such as Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man.

Advantages of SEPA transactions in Andorra

The main benefits for Andorra company and individuals derived from the implementation of SEPA are:

In Andorra you can make SEPA transfers and direct debits in Euros, using the same procedures within the country and between countries adhered to the SEPA zone. By joining SEPA, Principality facilitates payment procedures for international companies wishing to set up in Andorra to invest. With a view to opening up to international markets, Andorra became a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Andorran banks with SEPA scheme

All Andorran banks can send and receive credit transfers by the SEPA schemes. Banking entities in Andorra accepting SEPA: