Green light for SEPA 2.0


SEPA 2.0, i.e. the migration of the SEPA formats to ISO version 2019 of the ISO 20022 standard, starts in November 2021. The dreaded triple changeover consisting of a TARGET2 consolidation, SWIFT MT to MX and SEPA 2.0 has been averted through a gradual migration for SEPA 2.0. The remaining time must now be used intensively for preparations.

Note: distinction between DK and EPC applies to Germany



 The migration to the format specification of the German Banking Industry Committee (DK) valid from November initially affects the real-time credit transfer (pain001.001.09), the credit notification for incoming SCT Inst based on ISO 2019 (camt.054.001.08) and the formats for account information (camt.052, camt.053 and camt.054). Version 09 for real-time credit transfers is an extension of the SCT Inst formats, as the previous specifications (pain.001.001.03 without timestamp and pain.001.001.08 with timestamp) remain valid as before. A time-consuming exchange of existing formats at the customer-bank interface with extensive end customer integration is therefore not necessary for the time being and is postponed to a later date.

In November 2022, ISO version 2019 will continue with the inclusion of the Request to Pay (RTP) format specification into the DFÜ agreement. As this new standard will initially be included in the DFÜ agreement as an option, parallel activity to TARGET2 consolidation is not explicitly specified, but is reserved for financial institutions that wish to invest in improving customer experience.
The greatest effort for submissions by end customers will occur in November 2023, as the migration of the SEPA formats for credit transfers and direct debits is scheduled for this date. The remaining time should be used to prepare the necessary customer integration in order to avoid a postponement of migration dates as was the case with the mandatory SEPA introduction in 2014. 

Intensive preparation together with the customers involved is also urgently advised for the final phase of the SEPA 2.0 migration. In November 2025, the formats MT940 for previous day account information and MT942 for current day account information will cease to be the DK standard. Customers who rely on this information for their accounting must be able to process the account information in camt formats in the ISO 2019 version from this point onwards, which requires considerable effort and thus long and intensive preparation on the end customer side.

The changes associated with the implementation of SEPA 2.0 influence the interaction of formats in the processing chain and thus also the functionality of payment procedures. All internal bank systems that produce and/or receive change-relevant formats, as well as the supplying or receiving customers, are significantly affected. The risk of incorrect further processing or even the risk of payment rejections can be limited by addressing the issue at an early stage. In fact, added value can be created, processes can be holistically optimised and system functionalities can be increased by adapting and interlocking bank systems.

We are currently in the initial stage of the SEPA 2.0 migration. The effort required for the migration may not be reduced overall by the outlined equalisation of the migration steps, but it is at least easier to plan. We will closely follow the implementation and report on current developments here.  

Rebecca Stannull, Eric Waller


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