The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) officially applied for membership in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Georgia will be the first country in the region to join the SEPA.
The NBG, which collectively and intensively worked with the governmental structures to join the SEPA, tags the accession as a significant step on Georgia’s European integration path. Georgia’s SEPA membership will raise the trust in the Georgian financial sector and facilitate trade relations with the European economic space.
The Georgian Parliament expeditiously reviewed the legislative initiatives, developed as per EU Integration Committee-approved recommendations, necessary for Georgia’s accession to the SEPA.
European Payments Council will consider the NBG’s application and decide through consultations with the European Commission, presumably at the Council’s next meeting in November.
The SEPA aims to harmonize electronic payments in Euro across Europe and create a unified and standardized system of payments. It eliminates technical, legal and market barriers among the participant countries and allows consumers and businesses to make electronic payments in euros under the same basic conditions.
SEPA was introduced for credit transfers in 2008, followed by direct debits in 2009, and fully implemented by 2014 in the euro area (and by 2016 in non-euro area SEPA countries).