SEPA – no problem with the right tools

With the advance of globalisation, methods of communication and transactions are increasingly being raised to an international level. »Single Euro Payments Area« is the full name of an initiative of the European Union to standardise cross-border payment transactions. On 1 February 2014, the familiar combination of account number and bank sort code is to be replaced in Germany for national and international transactions by a 22-digit IBAN number, which contains all the information required for the payment. In the transitional phase, this number will be accompanied by the so-called »Business Identifier Code« (BIC) until February 2014 for domestic transfers and until February 2016 for foreign transfers.

In addition to Germany and the other 27 EU member states, the other countries of the European Economic Area, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as well as Switzerland and Monaco are participating.

The SEPA migration poses a similar challenge to the earlier introduction of the five-digit postcode in Germany for consumers, but especially for companies, public authorities and traders. In addition to the effects on the existing IT systems, the entire payment traffic is changing fundamentally. The changeover to the SEPA scheme entails a lot of tasks, some of which require a lot of time and money. Even at the end of 2012, a good third of companies had not dealt with the introduction of the new payment method.

Without a clear structure and good organisation, many of those affected will find it difficult to implement this project. But there is already a remedy: The Stuttgart-based software provider TOLERANT Software has extended its data quality tools for this purpose with TOLERANT Bank, a module for bank data verification that supports you in the one-time conversion and the permanent verification of IBAN and BIC.

For the conversion, the module draws on extensive directories from SWIFT and the Bundesbank, which are updated regularly. In addition to several car manufacturers, a Bonn public authority already relies on the solution offered.