Problem with SEPA payments and standard

SEPA means Single European Payments Area and includes countries in the European Union and some other countries where payments in EUR are enabled. Within the region, SEPA payments basically work as a domestic transactions, as they are carried out in the single currency (€).

Talking from the view of programmers that will need to implement this standard…

The idea of standardization was good and it should make life easier but in implementation they failed. While searching for XML standardization of SEPA payments I found too many different sources, and no official standard for SEPA XML exchanging and it seems that every country (or a bank) add something that is specific only for them. It means nightmare for standardization and simplification.

So questions that need answers are:

  • Why is it done in so complicated way?
  • If you make extra long XML for this why don’t you invest few hours of time to name XML nodes better (more human friendly)?
  • How is it possible that there isn’t final agreement on exchange standard for payments? This will be processed by machines and programmed by skilled professionals – why are you unnecessary complicating simple things?
  • These tutorials are written in a bad way like someone wanted to piss off the reader or the person that will implement payments by this tutorial.

Conclusion is that living in EU where “we are all connected” seems like one big illusion because every country is doing things in their own way and officially saying that they follow the standard. Victims are as usual common people which don’t know anything about how many people got their salaries for months (or years) of some work that will not benefit to others as it should.


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