Ten years after the introduction of the euro, the European Union is preparing to create the Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa). The European Payment Services Directive, which has now been implemented by France and will be implemented by all of the EU’s member states by 1st November, “provides consumers with more information on transaction time frames, currency commissions and exchange rates,” explains La Tribune. The French business daily further points out that the directive allows for “the creation of payment institutions that will compete with banks and encourage competition, which will be beneficial to consumers.” The new payment institutions, which will be subject to certain capital and risk management requirements, should effectively put an end to the banks’ monopoly in payment services and their frequently exorbitant administration fees.
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