Vatican City, Dec 2, 2018 / 22:05 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Board of the European Payments Council (EPC) approved last month the extension of the geographical scope of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) to include Vatican City State and the Holy See. Mostly seen as insider news, the decision in fact bespeaks a considerable boost to the financial system of the Vatican.
It is especially noteworthy that the European Payments Council made its decision with the consent of the European Commission. This means that the Vatican’s financial system has been recognized by the European Union as an autonomous and independent system.
SEPA harmonizes the way electronic euro payments are made across Europe.
A Holy See Press Office release Nov. 30 explained that “SEPA allows European consumers, business and public administrations to make and receive credit transfers as well as direct debits under the same basic conditions and makes all cross-border payments in euro as easy as domestic payments.”
This means that Holy See’s financial transfers will be considered to take place within the European Union’s system. Until now, Italy has considered Vatican City State to be a non E.U. country for financial purposes, and asked that bank transfers follow the requirements of countries outside the E.U. Now, it will not be possible to consider Vatican City State a non-E.U. country for financial purposes.