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Bank SNORAS integrates into the Single Euro Payments Area
Although Lithuania has not adopted the Euro, Bank SNORAS actively participates in creating the Single Euro Payments Area in Lithuania and implements the products according to the SEPA transitional period plan. Presently Bank SNORAS complies with SEPA credit transfer rules and ensures receipt of SEPA credit transfers. Moreover, the conditions have been created for the bank’s clients to easily obtain BIC codes and to identify a bank registered in Lithuania according to the provided IBAN account number.

At the moment Bank SNORAS is accessible in SEPA via ING Belgium SA/NV bank.

SEPA is single Euro payments services throughout Europe. Thanks to these services, Euro payments can be received in 31 European countries in the same method, in the same format, under the same conditions. SEPA comprises all EU member states as well as Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland.

SEPA strategic plan provides for that Euro payments in the Euro area countries become domestic settlements both within the country and between the member states. Banks beyond the Euro area can also participate in SEPA system and provide the services complying with SEPA requirements. Bank SNORAS seeks to grant an opportunity for its clients to use the payment instruments offered by SEPA for making settlements in Euro.

SEPA offers the following payment instruments:
• SEPA credit transfers – non-cash payment transfers in Euro, whose sum is unlimited. According to SEPA requirements, the payment order must include the account in IBAN format, the bank identification code (BIC) and SHA fees. SEPA guarantees the receipt of the entire order amount within 3 banking days.
• SEPA direct debit orders – the inter-banking settlements scheme which defines the rules and processes of the direct debit orders in Euro. According to this scheme, the debtor should give his consent to the creditor that the funds would be debited. Like in the credit payment orders, IBAN account and BIC code are obligatory.
• SEPA payment card services – applying and unifying SEPA principles in all payment card areas. Cardholders and companies will be able to perform settlements in the single Euro area in the general way.

During the transitional period to SEPA, Bank SNORAS included BIC11 code used for payment services into the reference directory of its infrastructure providing a total SEPA accessibility. In addition, currently the bank does not provide such conversion services due to which a part of the data sent with the payment order is lost. It means that all data are transferred to the beneficiary’s bank, except those cases if the beneficiary expressly requests not to transfer all information. After the transitional period the conversion services in the inter-banking area will not be provided.

Payments in the national currencies remain unchanged. The full package of SEPA services will be implemented gradually as all EU member states draw near to the new concept.
Bank SNORAS participation in SEPA credit transfers scheme, while providing the bank’s clients with an opportunity to send and receive the money transfers in Euro complying with the requirements of SEPA credit transfers scheme, is anticipated at the end of 2010.

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