All banks in the EU (including Malta, of course) are obliged to process transfers in euro and EEA currencies at the latest by the end of the next business day at no additional costs to the remitter or beneficiary of the funds. This also applies if you are sending/receiving payments from or to an account held with a bank in the EEA. If your request is made through a bank branch (rather than electronically through internet banking, where available), the bank may delay the process by a further one day.
Hence, banks of beneficiaries of funds shall value date and make available the amount of the payment transaction to the payee’s payment account at least by the following day after they received the funds in good order (i.e. processed using correct IBAN and on SHARE basis).
As from 1 February 2014, all credit transfer or direct debit payments in euro made within or between any of the 27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Monaco must be SEPA compliant. This means that:
Consumers will be able to reach all accounts SEPA-wide from one home country account. More widely accepted payments cards will displace cash improving customer safety and security.
For smaller businesses (SME) faster settlement and simplified processing will improve cash flow and reduce costs. It will enable them to receive or make euro-payments anywhere within SEPA on the same basis.
For large merchants and corporates, common standards enable the construction of one standard platform for payments in the whole SEPA resulting in major savings. For example, one single file in a common format could be used to receive and send payments throughout SEPA.
For governments and public administrations, common schemes and standards will enable the delivery of improved services to citizens at home and abroad. It will also facilitate the delivery of transaction-related e-Government
The Payments Services Directive – the legislative framework of the European Union in regard to payments – is implemented in Malta within rules (called Directives) issued by the Central Bank of Malta. Directive No 1 on The Provision and Use of Payment Services is available from this link: http://www.centralbankmalta.org/site/regulation.html.