Payments in Europe
The development of European payment means and systems is currently accelerating.
In and of itself, the euro's arrival is an engine pushing for the harmonization
of practices, rules and payment systems, but also for the development of new
ranges of payment instruments.
The diversity and heterogeneousness of the current situation has led the
European banking profession to get itself organized since the first quarter of
2002, by creating the European Payment Council (EPC)
to bring about the establishment of a unique payment area known
as the SEPA (Single European Payment Area). Studies have been undertaken within the European
Payment Council in an effort to define the instruments and infrastructures that
will best suit this new "pan-European" context.