SEPA RON Payment Schemes
For credit institutions and payment infrastructures but for any size companies as well, the single euro payments area – SEPA is an opportunity to assess the current payment applications and adopt a decision regarding changing the way payments will be made in the future.
Redesigning the payment processes based on some innovative solutions of the „end-to-end” type could generate substantial benefits concerning payment efficiency and cost reduction, via standardization, centralization and automation.
As regards the efforts to continually optimize the products and services delivered to customers and adapt to the European requirements and practices in the fi eld of payments, the banking community from Romania has decided to apply the European standards for the payments in the domestic currency before our adopting the euro, by adopting the SEPA payment schemes for lei credit transfer and direct debit operations, via a project deployed by credit institutions and TransFonD, the operator of the payment infrastructure of Romania, with the support of the National Bank of Romania.
The SEPA standards for lei payments have been adopted across the banking community from Romania via a self-regulating process started upon the initiative and with the support of the National Bank of Romania and which materialised by the signing in September 2012 of a Convention on National Payment Schemes that includes the SEPA credit transfer and direct debit Schemes adapted for payments in our domestic currency.
A first stage of the project was completed by the going live – in November 2012 – of the TransFonD system for lei low-value payments SENT SEPA – the credit transfer component.
By the end of July 2016, 33 credit and payment institutions adhered to the SEPA RON Credit Transfer Scheme, representing about 80% of total providers of credit transfer services. On 12 April 2016, TransFonD, together with the banking community from Romania launched the new lei direct debit instruments in SEPA format plus an additional service – the Unique Mandate Register (UMR) – a centralised data base which manages all the lei direct debit mandates accompanied by an ancillary application of Mandate Assistance which allows for the generation of preformatted mandates.
By July 2016, 17 credit institutions which deliver direct debit services adhered to the lei Direct Debit Schemes – the Core Scheme and the Business-to-Business (B2B) Scheme. The utilization of the new lei direct debit instruments means a number of advantages for consumers and for the companies that collect payments via direct debiting. At the same time, by the modernization of the national payment infrastructure supplied by TransFonD, currently, the banks in Romania benefit from a better basis for the automated processing and reconciliation of payment messages and of the messages for solving exceptions.
Direct debiting provides an easy way to pay the invoices for utilities and for other services. So that payer customers are not worried about the monthly payments they have to make regularly, now it is enough to have an account opened with a bank providing direct debit services and an inter-bank direct debit payment mandate given to the provider of services/ goods that use collecting via this type of payment instrument or a mandate given to their bank.
Also, the SEPA RON Instant Credit Transfer Scheme went live in Aprilie 2019 ai is supplied by an increasing number of banks. Instant payments are expected to replace in a few years the majority of standard credit transfers.
The Romanian Association of Banks, based on the mandate received from the Central Bank, has taken over the role of governing authority for SEPA Payment Schemes for lei payments. Thus, starting with 2014, the Department for the Management of the National Payment Schemes of the Romanian Association of Banks has been conducting audit and control missions regarding the application of SEPA Schemes for domestic currency payments in the credit institutions and the payment institutions from Romania which adhered to these Schemes.
By adopting the SEPA Schemes for lei payments, the banking community from Romania intends to standardize the lei and euro payment flows, to automate and facilitate IT connexions with corporate customers with a stable IT structure, to develop the direct debit instrument in conformity with European standards and to adopt it on a wide scale, next to mitigate investing and operational pressure brought about by the adopting of the single currency, the euro.
Payment service providers in Romania can offer payment services based on SEPA RON Schemes based on adherence agreement to the Rulebook of the respective Scheme. Adherence documentation is submitted to Romanian Association of Banks, the Administrator of SEPA RON payment schemes