Apply Financial joins the movers and shakers at Fintech Connect Live
6th & 7th December 2016, Excel, London. Stand 91.
Apply joins this showcase of innovators who are disrupting the payments industry. Our team have been involved in the evolution of payments over the last ten years with the widespread adoption of online, contactless, mobile and app-based payments changing the way that consumers and businesses spend in the developed world, while changing the fabric of societies in some emerging markets.
We are happy to share our experience how banks, FX companies, payment start-ups and corporates can work together, we are also keen to talk to new partners. We will share our ideas around the future of multi-channel bank to bank transfers, micropayments and cross border remittances.
(Validate API and Validate Browser);
Payment File Checking and Fixing
(Validate Data Manager API and Browser);
Are available, pushing new standards of automated validation that results in remarkable savings and happy clients.
The Future of Fintech - with a bit of Brexit thrown in!
I'm still in shock over the referendum result, but more about that later.
According to the technologists we are all going to pay with thumbs, robots will make sure our pensions don't shrink, realtime payments will be global and and it will be impossible to launder money...
As a fully paid up member of the Gadgets for Addicts society it's easy to convince me that any new technology is brilliant. But in reality I don't believe in technology for technology's sake, and feel their is an element of this in the current range of startups in fintech. Building something to create a market just because you can is extremely difficult and in most cases fails, but building something that the market is crying out for makes good sense. So all the talk about Artificial Intelligence, Crypto-Currencies, Blockchain, Disruption, and so on, is good but does the end user really understand or even care?
Fintech has been around since the 70's and we sometimes forget that the worlds biggest fintech players are some of the world's biggest companies - Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and IBM just to mention a few. These companies along with many others have provided the engines to help clever technologists deliver ATM's, payment cards, POS and move us closer to a cashless realtime society. In many ways the future has already arrived with biometric payments, realtime bank transfers, marketplace loans, robo advisors, peer to peer insurance and cheaper cross border transfers. But in most cases these are solutions that are still running off existing rails provided by the very institutions we seem to think need disrupting.
The new solutions shaking up the industry are merely an appetiser to the big change that will come if the unseen infrastructures that drive our financial world are replaced for the right reasons. In many cases, this requires large infrastructure changes for incumbents such as the banks and huge investment plays for the new players. The reality is that it will take many years and won't be a smooth ride, a case of two steps forward and one step back, but I do believe it will happen.
So is blockchain the future? If so, how long will it take to deliver real value, 10 years? Is it fast, is it expensive, is it secure, is it capable of providing deep and detailed solutions, whilst providing a sophisticated audit capability? Will AI transform the client interaction, and will they notice? Will we trust it for advice? Will it become regulated beyond human advice? Will real-time payments become global, and what are the implications? Will the issues around market place loans and securitisation play into the hands of the banks and turn the darlings of fintech into lame ducks? Will global institutions such as SWIFT and VISA/Mastercard be squeezed out of existence over the next 10 years unless they radically change their delivery and charging strategies? Will regulation and compliance issues create a level playing field between banks and new players?
My conclusion as a consumer of these products is that a great deal of them are looking for rapid growth as well as eventually achieving a level of sustainable profit, and this concerns me. As a provider of fintech I would also say that investment patience is running out, and consolidation is taking place as I type, but if fintech can provide a seamless, easy to use and informative range of solutions to its clients, and a low delivery cost, then investment will continue to grow and the future will continue to look bright for fintech.
But what about Brexit the elephant in the room? As somebody who voted to remain I find it hard to be objective about this but here goes. The scare mongers are saying that there will be a sustained exodus out of London and investment will dry up, but I believe the reality is far less dire. London has been the home to world class finance expertise since even before my birth date, not least because it sits in a perfect time zone for the globe to be able to trade with us or use us as global brokers. So once we have seen this through, and the politicians have sorted themselves out, then I believe that common sense will prevail and London will still be a pre-eminent place for finance and fintech.
Anyway, look on the bright side, Article 50 has not yet been invoked, and with a new leader of the Conservative Party coming from the Remain camp we are not there yet.
In the meantime we will continue to innovate. Long live Fintech!
Will 2016 be the year of real collaboration in the payments arena?
Investment has continued to pour into the FinTech sector let's look back at 2015. With over $8 billion of VC money invested in Fintech Start-ups according to Forbes the market is bursting with innovation and 2016 looks set to be a year when banks roll out some of their Start-up partnerships.
Looking back on our year our CEO Mark Bradbury attended the Innovate Finance Global Summit where he discussed our Validate technology and how this innovative financial services technology is positively impacting payment processes. The biggest influencers in finance and government came together with the greatest social visionaries, educators and innovators to discuss the ways to create a more substantial financial services sector. There were initial rumblings around a Fintech Bubble.
The conversation around Fintech Bubble continued into the middle of the year and predictions of consolidation have proved correct with the likes of Square down valuing for an IPO. Business Insider has written of a potential 34 Fintech Unicorns and investment in Bitcoin whilst it has decreased each quarter the base technology is still being used in various sectors.
December saw Fintech Connect Live come to Wembley and the auditorium was filled with Fintech movers and shakers, we are working with many of the firms including Currency Transfer, Kwanji and Kantox at the show helping them bring down the costs and barriers to cross border payments and transfers.
The world is recognising that successful financial services are driven by the software and technology that is used to enable and deliver services to the end customer. Software is seen as the key differentiator, and for banks and financial services to retain their client bases and their brand loyalty. At the end of 2015 and we saw banks begin to invest in the customer experience and planning to place software at the centre of their digital banking strategies and invest more service technologies.
More enthusiasm than ever before has accompanied a swathe of Fintech predictions for 2016. There is probably no single figure for how much money is being pumped into financial start-ups now, but it amounts to many billions of pounds (although it's still just a fraction of bank's legacy IT expenditure we are told). Financial technology is expected to account for a relatively large share of capital spend in 2016, which has the potential to be highly disruptive.
2016 may be the year we really see collaboration in the payments arena between established institutions and the new disruptors!
'IBAN Only' Regulation In A World Beyond The Eurozone
There has been widespread adoption of standards set by the European Payments Council in 2014 for Euro payments across the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The next major stage of the SEPA regulations comes into effect in 2016 when banks may no longer compel their originating customers to provide a Bank Identification Code (BIC). That is, customers only need to provide an IBAN. the 'IBAN only' rule fits very well into a world where the use of online payment systems is becoming more prevalent, and online payment system product offerings are proving to be a differentiator in the market for financial institutions.
Are you ready for 'IBAN Only'?
In October 2016 the next major change in SEPA regulation will come into effect with the 'IBAN Only' rule, meaning that payment service users can simply provide an IBAN only in a payment instruction without having to provide a BIC.
How will this affect you?
The payment service provider will become responsible for determining how to route that payment. The 'IBAN Only' rule will shift greater burdens upon the sending bank to ensure proper routing. The 'IBAN Only' rule will have a great influence on how banks make payments.
Apply can help
We understand that processing payments in Europe can be a daunting task so we deliver a range of solutions that help efficiently process IBAN payment transactions and reduce the amount of time and money spent on errors and repairs, whether they be single payments or bulk payment files.
Our Validate and Validate Data Manager solutions are designed to provide complete information for SEPA- and IBAN-compliant payments. With both solutions you can:
Automatically convert legacy account information to IBANs.
Obtain valid BICs for all IBAN-compliant countries.
Enable compliance with the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Schemes.
In other words we provide the IBAN and the BIC's and the surrounding information to ensure SEPA compliant payments, so you don't have to.
Apply Financial exists to make payments simpler.
For banks, nonbanking financial institutions and corporates who depend heavily on automated payment process, Apply provides validation solutions that integrate seamlessly into existing payment systems. Unlike any other vendor of validation solutions Apply has made a no-compromise commitment to reducing the cost, speeding up and simplifying the integration of these solutions.
A Fintech bubble or a technical revolution in Finance?
Ok so, I have to declare that as CEO of a 4 year old fast growth L39 Fintech company I have a vested interest in the growth of Fintech and rising valuations. Bus pass days are closing in so all funds greatly received! Let me just add a disclaimer some of my dates and numbers might be a bit inaccurate in the following paragraphs so don't sue me for it!
Its not a bubble and here's why?
Before we talk about the Fintech bubble that maybe now and its future let's think back to the turn of the century and the latter part of the dotcom boom. The problem was most of the companies attracting funds had great marketing strategies but no revenue models, worst of all most had no product and the word 'stealth' became a code for 'got the money and haven't a clue what to develop!' . The death knell was sounded by an analyst who posed the question 'will Amazon ever make a profit?' we know what happened next, the dotcom bust.
Let's go back further to the emergence of Financial Technology around trading, middle office and back office. Moving into wholesale banks and ATM's, cards and electronic payments for retail banks. Nothing's changed except it's now trending as Fintech.
Fintech has successfully navigated its way through the last 50 years (invoking the disclaimer rule here) including the dotcom bust and despite periods when technology stocks were not fashionable (many were perceived as high risk). We still have highly valued players that have stood the test of time - Misys, Sage, Sungard, FIS, Bankers Almanac - some former bus pass seeking colleagues now run those organisations and good luck to them. The smaller companies are getting bigger and add to that major USA tech companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Oracle and HP who attribute a large percentage of their revenues to Fintech I could argue that the foundations are strong and getting stronger.
Now in 2015, investment in Fintech in UK alone has grown by some 140% (disclaimer as I haven't read every blog on the gazillions being invested and where) in the last 12 months, first quarter deals are creating a buzz of excitement (42% of all European Fintech investment is in UK) with billion dollar valuations on the increase and the trend seems only upwards. More and more cities around the world add Level 39 style hubs and young planet sized brains are a buzz with cunning ways to disrupt or partner with the legacy of banks and older Fintech players. We are even creating new sectors such as peer to peer or market place solutions that the internet and improving tech are allowing us to indulge in.
The foundations, the big so called legacy companies are still here (and growing) the newer players from the 'after dotcom bust' are no longer disrupters but the new establishment such as PayPal, Square, Stripe, iZettle, Zopa, Pingit, Wonga etc etc its a long list. It seems every area of Finance is being disrupted by the new players Transferwise, Kantox, Azimo, WorldRemit, Market Invoice, Funding Circle, Nutmeg, Crowdcube (apologies if your company is not mentioned here) and many more in areas that the man/woman in the street doesn't even know exist or struggle to understand you try explaining payment validation, big data or crypto currencies at a dinner party.
More complex financial instruments are also getting the new tech. Back in the late 80's I was a board member of one of the first companies to provide software tools for managing 'off balance sheet' instruments (Vanilla Swaps in those days), we were the early quants. Now there are far more complex instruments and trading at the speed of light, the hedge fund quants and many more business' of this ilk that are breeding new tech providers.
Connectivity and spreading IP are now very much part of the scene. 8 years ago I was involved in a prototype cloud solution with an API and financial institutions struggled to get their collective heads around the risk reward. Now if you are not in the cloud and don't use the word API or RESTful you ain't in the game. Even some banks are providing API's for their internal IP.
Oh and I have forgot to mention Mobile applications for banking, transferring money overseas, POS payments and paying friends for last night's drinks. The internet and mobile collide in emerging economies for the unbanked, charities because people are unbanked they don't have access to a landline or broadband (12 times more mobiles registered than broadband registrations in many African countries). Mpesa as one example has changed all that for the better for citizens of these countries.
So with £billion+ valuations and huge investment going into Fintech why don't I think it's a bubble?
Because Fintech is inherently a huge global revenue generating business, it's scalable, there is room for a range of players in each and every sector. It's not a here today gone tomorrow need, people will always need access to money, want to spend, invest, borrow and gamble it. The Fintech world is set to continue to push the boundaries, disrupt, dis-intermediate and democratise to provide slicker, faster, accessible and usable solutions to the personal and business world out there that save time and money.
In conclusion we haven't even scratched the surface, Fintech is a massive sector and growing rapidly. The investment world and user community are really grasping the mettle and driving innovation. Consolidation will occur in Fintech, the banks and so on but it will be a breathing space for the next growth spurt and who else will get involved? More telcos, banks partnering with new Fintech to avoid compliance issues and conversely new Fintech companies having to be more compliant as they grow to avoid the wrath of the authorities, Crypto Currencies, the blockchain and faster 5G networks for mobiles.
So, the smart pot of money to invest in Fintech is getting bigger, the banks are creating Strategic Funds of £100m and more and even Richard Branson is getting in on the scene. Not to mention that Facebook and Alipay are getting in on the act.
It can only get better!
p.s. Amazon market value was $4.4bn in 2001 and is now worth $177bn
I don't want to seem bahumbug but what is it with the epidemic of Hackathons!!!...the definition has morphed from trying to break into something into creating something.
An event, typically lasting several days, in which a large number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.
Google shows that the use of the word has skyrocketed over the last few years. As a result of the rise in popularity and penetration into the mainstream, everyone is talking about Hackathons. There is a passionate debate around what a hackathon is and isn't. This debate is healthy and necessary, because such discussions keep us honest. The recent trend deviates from our historically accepted definition? do we need a different word (or words) to describe these other, hackathon-like events?
Maybe we should consider a different label ? co-creationathon, agile fest or codathon. Surely we can conjure up a more appropriate term to describe these new events which no longer major on breaking into systems.
Hackathons apart, there is no doubt that Fintech is an exciting space and we are seeing real innovation, we can't afford to forget what makes it all work in the back office. It is a challenging time for banks to serve their clients. The financial crisis changed the financial markets and other industries, and provided a catalyst for radical reforms to regulation, technology, approaches to risk, internal operating models and internal client demands.
Apply is a Fintech company that understands and satisfies the product, service and self-service needs for validation in payments processes globally. We are providing the financial world best Payment Validation solution as API's, branded browsers and payment file management tools ? delivered from our Cloud. We are the oil in the machine and we are proud to be nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.
"Apply aims to be the best and most widely used payments validation
Company in the world "
The Final Months of 2014 and the focus is Payments.
Apple Pay's announcement has been trending in payment news. PayPal announced that it would separate from eBay and its core auction business, both companies will be able to better focus and compete as stand-alone businesses. Rumours abound about the future of Paypal as loud as they are nothing has materialised.
As we come to the end of conference season leading events from Sibos and EFMA to Money2020. There is no doubt that the discussion of mobile payments has been front and centre at all these meetings. The coverage has been fuelled by a number of developments that could reshape the mobile payments landscape, including: Apple Pay, MCX, ISIS and In-App alternatives.
Are these developments enough to be the catalyst for people to finally start paying with their phones? What we do know is that a real focus is on speeding up payment processes and delivering best of breed validation solutions is our mission.
At the end of October True Ventures our backers invited Mark Bradbury our founder to attend their 2015 Founders Camp which is an inspirational summit bringing together a group of over 170 founders of startups they have funded to share best practices and knowledge, to discuss the future of technology in a private, in Carmel in Monterey. Mark was able to share ideas and issues with the likes of Om Malik (GigaOM), Matt Mullenweg (Automattic/Wordpress), James Park (Fitbit), Danny Shader (PayNearMe) and Jeff Hendren (Kurtosys) and lots of other creative minds.
We are working with innovative banks and financial firms who have recognized software is the differentiator, to retain their client bases, and their brand loyalty, they are investing and placing software at the centre of their digital banking strategies. Expectations are growing based on personal experiences and customers now expect a consistent, omni-channel experience, with 24/7 availability, and capabilities more attuned to the world of consumer and retail. Integrating best of breed APIs allow them to meet these challenges, taking advantage of technology enable the delivery of a customer experience more aligned to that delivered by consumer organizations.
Our innovative secure payment validations solutions are designed to evolve with business to suit every situation.
Sources: Experian, Bottomline, IDC, SWIFT, World Factbook(CIA).
Incorrect payments data has the potential to cost your business hundreds of thousands of pounds. Correcting failed transactions takes time, energy and money, to say nothing of the negative impact on customer loyalty. In this white paper, Apply Financial, the cloud payments provider, shares its best practice tips to help reduce errors and deliver the outstanding service your customers deserve.
Why payments validation is a must for the long term
"You wouldn't post an important business communication without validating the address and postcode so why risk sending an important credit or D/D without validating the payment instruction first."
Payments data, the lines of information that enable you to send and receive the funds that drive revenue and profit for your business is one of the most frequently under-valued business assets.
Fail to effectively manage, store and cleanse your payments data and you will quickly face escalating costs, interruptions to cash flow and damaging customer service disasters.
Yet the ease with which payments data can fade into a haze of back-office processes means that few businesses apply sufficient scrutiny.
Now, with bank transaction margins under pressure and compliance costs increasing, poor data quality is a risk your business cannot afford to take because the banks will charge you to put it right.
SEPA: The end of the beginning
When the SEPA migration deadline arrives on 1st February 2014, anyone wishing to send or receive euro payments within the SEPA zone must be compliant and able to send payment instructions in the SEPA IBAN + BIC format. For most, the end date will close a chapter of frenetic migration activity.
The reality, though, is that it's only the start of a long-term need to maintain payments integrity.
Today's SEPA report card: "Could do better"
Let me turn your attention to recent research exploring the data quality of firms who've already made the jump to a SEPA compliant format. The results revealed that businesses who are already using the new IBAN format account numbers typically see a reduced error rate of 4.6%, compared to a 12.7% error rate amongst those continuing to rely on domestic account numbers.
43.7% of payments in the new format, however, were missing a Bank Identifier Code (BIC).
The most common errors thrown up by the survey were:
An out of date or invalid bank / branch code
Invalid account information ? likely to mean that a simple algorithmic conversion process, which can easily fail to spot missing sub-account numbers and create references to invalid account numbers, was used rather than full validation.
Missing BICs are most likely to occur as a result of acquisitions, mergers and closures within the banking sector that create wholesale changes in BICs.
Tomorrow's report card: Keep up the good work
Sadly, success today does not guarantee success tomorrow. Over 5,000 changes to critical bank information are made every single day and keeping data accurate in light of those changes requires constant work to regularly cleanse data.
The unknown and limitless cost of data discrepancies
Poor payments data quality can send shockwaves throughout a business:
Time and resource is required to resolve and resend the payment
Additional research must be carried out to prevent similar problems from recurring in future
Supply chains can be slowed or even stopped
Opportunities can be missed involving time sensitive transactions
Liquidity and cash flow are less predictable
Interest costs could rise
Errors might attract higher transaction costs or penalty fines
The challenge comes in putting a figure against such a broad impact.
As Deloitte conclude in their recent paper on strategic data management, the cost of poor data quality is not measured upfront but appears at the end of the process chain where lack of automation and the reliance on manual intervention adds substantial cost.
Graduating to new, automated efficiency
The lack of automation used to validate payments data can easily become a barrier to growth. Relying on manual intervention is not only costly and time consuming, but it restricts a firm's ability to grow. Deloitte's analysis found that firms are "constrained by their data management teams' capacity to process ever-increasing volumes of transactions in a timely manner. As headcount increases, so does the risk of inconsistencies and duplicates," which only demands more expense to resolve.
So, whether a business is seeking to embed a lean, agile operating model or create a scalable platform for growth, graduating to the next stage of success will rely on exchanging cumbersome manual payments validation processes for swift, automated solutions.
Doing your homework: 4 key questions to ask about validation tools
How often will data be cleansed and corrected?
Data should ideally be refreshed weekly or, at the very least, monthly to ensure that it remains up to date. Check that you will be able to use the validation tool as frequently as you need and that you understand the costs involved.
What sources of reference data are used for validation?
It's easy to cross-reference data and identify discrepancies but make sure that any vendor you instruct has the ability to check data against the official sources such as banks, code issuers, local communities and regulatory bodies.
Are you being charged for what you need?
The need to validate payments data doesn't change however big your firm is, but the way you're treated by vendors might. If you're a small business look out for a solution that allows flexible purchase and will only charge based on actual usage.
If, on the other hand, you are a large corporate, beware the temptation to inflate prices for buyers with deep pockets. If possible, choose transparent pricing structures that apply a fair calculation of costs right across the board, whoever you are.
Can the tool integrate with your existing IT infrastructure?
Finally, consider how easily the validation tool can connect to your existing data systems. How will you upload records for validation? How can you tap into existing workflows to correct errors?
Finding a solution that doesn't rely on internal IT development will be faster to deploy and significantly cheaper than one that relies on a new systems build.
Pass with flying colours
By giving serious attention to payments data validation now and using the questions above to develop a rigorous process to cleanse data, your firm has the chance to mitigate future risks and create a leaner, more profitable operating model for today.
So don't be tempted to see SEPA as the end. It's merely the end of the beginning.
The European Parliament has confirmed that the 1st of February 2014 will be the deadline for the euro zone countries to change to the new SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debits (SDD) schemes. The deadline for non-euro zone countries is the 31st of October 2016.
The sweeping changes to the European payments landscape under SEPA and in particular the implementation of SDD will present companies and banks with a complex set of challenges, however this also presents a huge opportunity for companies to overhaul their cash management and collection processes and to leverage their banking and payment relationships.
ENTER THREE QUESTIONS WE CAN ANSWER
What is the status of your Direct Debit Mandates migration plan?
Have you already considered the SEPA readiness of your ERP package?
Doing nothing is not an option- time is running out to act.
Our SEPA tools fully take into account the requirements put forward by the European Payments Council.
Our services include:
Validate API ? for real-time account validation and enrichment
Validate Converter ? to convert large volumes of account numbers into IBAN's with the associated BIC
Validate Converter API ? real-time converting of account numbers into IBAN's and BIC's
Validate Data Manager ? to keep your converted data clean and compliant
Apply Consultancy ? to examine the key issues of SEPA migration in your organization and offer solutions.
Apply is uniquely placed to support companies and institutions to meet the challenges and opportunities of SEPA. We have a complete range of SEPA migration services and solutions to enable you to manage the change process and realize the benefits.
What is SEPA?
SEPA stands for the Single Euro Payments Area. This is the area where citizens, companies and other economic actors will be able to make and receive payments in euro whether between or within national boundaries under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations regardless of their location within Europe.
To put it simply it means that you can make fast and secure transfers between bank accounts anywhere in the euro area as if you were making a transfer within your own country. This means you will have transparent pricing, guarantees ensuring that your payments are received promptly and in full (i.e. no charges removed from the amount that you are sending to the receiver of the payment), and banks taking responsibility if something goes wrong with your payment.
Currently if you want to pay for goods or services electronically (debit card, bank transfer or direct debit) in another euro area country, using a card or transferring money from one bank account to another in another euro area country, you may not know how long the payment will take, and sometimes charges are taken from the amount you are sending meaning that the receiver does not get the full amount.
Use your debit card instead of cash within the Euro area
If you're travelling with business, away on holiday or visiting another euro area country, you will be able to pay with your debit card as you would at home. This will allow you to use your debit card anywhere at any time within the SEPA area when paying in euro, and to make withdrawals from cash machines, just as if you were at home.
Easier payments between Euro countries
Your bank already allows you to make transfer money within the euro area, but often this takes an uncertain amount of time and costs more than it would to send money to someone within your own country. SEPA will guarantees that your euro payments are made promptly and in full and within a guaranteed time. Additionally banks will not be allowed to make any deductions of the amount transferred. Banks also will give you simple and clear information on any charges or fees applicable.
Direct debits from anywhere in the euro area
Maybe you have regular bills to pay for a business or for a holiday home in another euro area country, you will be able to pay these bills from your home country by direct debit as easily as if you were paying a bill within your own country by direct debit.
For businesses this will help then to expand their business by being able to offer subscription services to people in other euro countries easily, such as a website subscription, a service they pay for on a monthly basis or maybe magazine subscription.
You'll only need one bank for the whole euro area
As SEPA will make things much easier to transfer money and to setup and manage direct debits, you will be able to uses your existing euro account where you are. This will mean you don't have to open a new account in every euro country. This will enable you to have your salary paid into your home account and you can also use your home account to pay any bills you have in the new country.
If you are using mobile or internet banking you will be able to manage your account as if you were at home.
Transparent pricing and no hidden charges:
Prior to SEPA bank charges were often applied to payment after the payment was made. However with SEPA in place banks will have to tell you exactly what they are charging you for. Additionally you should get the money into your account the next (working) day. This will stop the long dealys between the money leaving your account and the receiver seeing it credited to theirs and you seeing your balance change but not being able to access the funds.
To ensure that everybody understood what the receiver of the funds payment details are, the IBAN and BIC was adopted. This ensured that banks could check that they had the correct payment details before sending the money. This has allowed the banks to reduce payment times and bank charges when making euro payments within the SEPA region, however charges can still apply if payment details are incorrect.
The IBAN and BIC are mandatory for credit transfers and direct debits, within the Euro area and if these are not given correctly they can lead to additional charges. Charges for payments can be for payments that have either not managed to get to their destination without intervention by the bank these are typically between 20-30 and rejection of payments as they have been sent to the incorrect coordinates (incorrect BIC or maybe a bank code within the IBAN that no longer exists) which have similar charges.
These can rapidly mount up and with the increasing number of banking changes in the European banks make it a necessity rather than an option to check the details of the receiver of the payment. Regularly checking that all the payment details you have are still correct to reduce these unexpected charges either directly with each beneficiary or via a third party service which will reduce the time and cost of these checks.
What will SEPA mean for me, if I'm not in a euro country?
SEPA will still bring you benefits if you live in an EU country that does not use the euro. The benefits of improved services, speed of payment and rules information that apply to all euro account to euro account payments. These will be maybe slightly diluted by the currency conversion from your currency to euro (or visa versa) but the changes should still be noticeable.