The European Central Bank warned that companies are running outof time to implement payment structures that are in line withregion-wide standards.

“A number of companies have adopted very late internaldeadlines” to migrate toward the Single Euro Payments Area, orSEPA, the ECB said today in a report.“This is a source of concern,” it said. “More worryingly, small andmedium enterprises' and local public administrations' awareness ofSEPA is still fragmented and the level of preparedness is ratherpoor.”

SEPA enables customers to make euro transfers across borderswithin Europe using a single payment account and a single set ofpayment instruments. Thirty-two European countries areparticipating in SEPA.

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