E-invoice standing orders are being used for 97% of the earlier direct debit payments



An average of one million domestic payments were made in Estonia each day in the third quarter with a value of 410 million euros, which is about the same as in previous quarters. An average of 54,000 e-invoice standing order payments a day were made in the quarter with a total value of around two million euros. The average e-invoice standing order payment was for €36.50. E-invoice standing order payments accounted for 5.5% of the domestic payments in the third quarter, and for 0.5% of the value of payments. E-invoice standing orders are now being used for 97% of the payments earlier made by direct debit and the changeover to the new system has gone smoothly. The transition to SEPA led to the introduction of the e-invoice standing order in the Estonian payment market in the second half of last year as the banks replaced the direct debit services they had been using until then with a new service based on e-invoice standing orders.

The transition to SEPA led to other changes as well, which are still in the process of being adopted. The change to the SEPA requirements will be completed by 1 February 2015. Until then it is possible to enter account numbers and submit payments in the old format, and banks are providing the services to help private clients and companies to make payments.

From 1 February it will only be possible for clients, whether corporate or private clients, to make payments using the international bank account number, or IBAN. This means companies need to make sure that they are using the 20-digit IBAN on their invoices, websites and other forms.

It is very important for account numbers to be entered accurately, as banks cannot check that account numbers and the names of the holders match when they initiate interbank payments. Because of the SEPA regulations, the payment can only be initiated using the uniquely identifying IBAN of the payment recipient.

Companies need to finish updating their systems by February next year so that they can only make payment transfers in the new format. After that banks may no longer provide a conversion service and if the system updates are not made, the company accountants will have to enter all payments one by one through the internet bank. More information about this can be found directly from the bank holding the account.

Read also: Eesti Pank's statistics on payment and settlement systems

For further information:
Ingrid Mitt
Public Relations Office
Tel: +372 668 0965, +372 512 6843
Email: [email protected]