Cross-border euro transfers and currency conversions: A step forward in favour of the single market

29-04-2019

Cross-border payments are crucial for the integration of the EU economy, and play an important role in ensuring that citizens and enterprises from all EU Member States enjoy the same rights offered by the single market. Since the introduction of the euro, the EU has launched various initiatives to reduce the cost of cross-border transactions, among them a set of single euro payments area (SEPA) standards, regulations on cross-border payments, and the Payment Services Directives. Nevertheless, cross-border euro payments made in non-euro-area Member States are still subject to high fees. Furthermore, when paying with a card or making an ATM withdrawal in a country using a currency other than the euro, it is almost impossible to know exactly how much it is going to cost. On 28 March 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 on cross-border payments. Working through the legislative process, Parliament and Council reached agreement on an amended text, published in the Official Journal on 19 March 2019. The new regulation will make cross-border payments in euros cheaper across the entire EU, while also bringing more transparency to currency-conversion practices. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Cross-border payments are crucial for the integration of the EU economy, and play an important role in ensuring that citizens and enterprises from all EU Member States enjoy the same rights offered by the single market. Since the introduction of the euro, the EU has launched various initiatives to reduce the cost of cross-border transactions, among them a set of single euro payments area (SEPA) standards, regulations on cross-border payments, and the Payment Services Directives. Nevertheless, cross-border euro payments made in non-euro-area Member States are still subject to high fees. Furthermore, when paying with a card or making an ATM withdrawal in a country using a currency other than the euro, it is almost impossible to know exactly how much it is going to cost. On 28 March 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 on cross-border payments. Working through the legislative process, Parliament and Council reached agreement on an amended text, published in the Official Journal on 19 March 2019. The new regulation will make cross-border payments in euros cheaper across the entire EU, while also bringing more transparency to currency-conversion practices. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.