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The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) aims to eliminate national divergences in cross-border payments by enabling cashless payments from a single payment account anywhere in the euro zone. It calls for one set of standardized instruments for credit transfers, direct debits and card payments. While SEPA is an initiative of the European Payments Council, supported by the European Central Bank and the European Commission, the Payment Services Directive (PSD) is legislation that provides the legal framework for implementing SEPA. Together, SEPA and PSD are the building blocks of a harmonized European payment market that will benefit European consumers and businesses as well as U.S. companies with European operations.

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