ECoNomIA 331 CLIL - Single Euro Payments Area CLIL - SINGLE EURO PAYMENTS AREA AUDIO The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is a European Union initiative to harmonise cashless euro and electronic payments between European countries. The SEPA system began operating for credit transfers in 2008, followed by direct debits in 2009, and was fully implemented by 2014 in the euro area. With SEPA, businesses, citizens, public administrations, and other financial actors can make and receive payments in euros based on common rules, operating procedures, and market practices. This makes all cross-border electronic payments in euro as easy as domestic ones. The European Commission says that SEPA brings consumers several benefits: provides a single system for both domestic and cross-border bank transfers; makes cross-border transfers easier; speeds up payments; only one bank account is needed for the whole euro area; the competition between banks will help to drive down bank costs. The SEPA zone consists of 36 countries, including several countries which are not part of the euro area or the European Union like: Andorra, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City State. 1. Answer the following questions. 1. What does SEPA mean? 2. Who created SEPA and why? 3. When was SEPA introduced? 4. How does SEPA affect currency transfer? 5. What are the benefits that consumers gain through SEPA? 6. Which countries are in the SEPA zone? 7. If you have a bank account in Italy and you are working in Spain, do you need to open another bank account to receive your salary?