The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Sepa and the PSD: a brief history

The Sepa revolution quietly creeps in

What does Sepa involve?

What corporates must do

The Single Euro Payment Area (Sepa) is a classic example of unintended consequences. In 2000, the European Union’s Lisbon Strategy set out a plan to create an internal market for financial services by 2010. The first fruit of that plan was regulation 2560 in 2001, an EU Parliament and European Council measure that aimed to remove differences in costs of eurozone cross-border card payments, ATM withdrawals and credit transfers throughout the region – thus increasing efficiency, lowering costs and improving competitiveness.

European banks, realizing the impact that Regulation 2560 would have on their bottom line when it came into force in 2002, decided – like a reckless poker player – to up the stakes without thinking of how the other players would react. A total of 42 banks, the three European Credit Sector Associations and the Euro Banking Association formed the European Payments Council with a goal of simplifying and codifying standards – creating Sepa – so that banks would be able to lower their costs as they were forced to lower charges.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree