iDEAL ready for SEPA


The online payment method iDEAL is ready for the European payment market. All the banks that offer iDEAL have recently completed the migration process of converting iDEAL to the European (SEPA) standards. Paul Alfing, chair payments committee Ecommerce Europe: “This could be an incentive for cross-border trade and it marks an important step towards a uniform European payment infrastructure”.

The SEPA regulation obliges all banks and users of payment services to meet the European standards by 1 February 2014 at the latest. With the migration of the system iDEAL has already fulfilled this requirement, making it easier for foreign providers to connect to iDEAL.

The iDEAL payment system is based on existing infrastructure with banks, which implies they can capitalise on their online banking application and customer base. It allows consumers to make online purchases in a swift and secure way within the familiar environment of their own bank. iDEAL is open to any bank to obtain a licence from scheme owner Currence. In the Netherlands iDEAL is by far the most popular online payment method.

Up to now, the iDEAL system was based on transfers between Dutch bank account numbers. As a result, a bank or payment institution had to be connected to the Dutch payment infrastructure. This is no longer necessary. With the introduction of the SEPA standards, a European infrastructure has been created in which domestic and foreign transfers take place in the same way. This enables foreign providers to participate more easily in the iDEAL payment process.

In the coming months, webshops and other organisations that accept iDEAL as a method of payment should adapt their systems. They have until 1 August 2013 to implement these adjustments.