Frequently asked questions

Credit transfers

What is SEPA?

SEPA is a Single Euro Payments Area. The single area covers 34 states where private costumers, enterprises and other market participants can initiate and receive payments under the unified conditions and rights.

In short, it is the European payment infrastructure with the joint clearing houses and set standards and rules for settlements in euro.

What states are covered by SEPA?

Currently SEPA covers all of the European Union (EU) member states, plus Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, the Principality of Monaco and San Marino.

What is a SEPA credit transfer?

A SEPA credit transfer is a credit transfer in euro carried out in compliance with the single SEPA credit transfers scheme prepared by the European Payments Council . This scheme, requirements as well as precessing will apply to the payment to other EU states and to transfers among the bank operating with the 

How SEPA credit transfers will be different form usual credit transfers carried out currently?

  • The payment purpose data field allows to write 140 free unstructured characters instead of 300 allowed currently.
  • A field for a payer's /initial payer's/beneficiary's / final beneficiary's name shall be shortened from 200 symbols to 70 symbols.
  • The following various identifiers can be used to identify a payer/initial payers/beneficiary/ final beneficiary: VAT code, social insurance code and etc., including codes provided by the payer /beneficiary. Only one identifier can be provided.
  • Extra fields are foreseen for a credit transfer type and link to a unique payment number.
  • If the accounts of the payer and beneficiary are in Lithuania, then such Lithuanian symbols as ą, ę and etc. could be further used in the payment orders. If the accounts of the payer and beneficiary are outside Lithuania, then only Latin symbols could be transferred.

Will the LITAS-ESIS  format, currently used in Lithuania for data transmission between the bank and customer, be changed?

Those customers that have technical links with the on-line banking system operating at the bank will have to switch from LITAS-ESIS  messages which are currently used  for initiation of credit transfer files and account statements to the requirements set by the ISO 20022 XML standard.

Where can I find a description of ISO 20022 XML format?

A description of ISO 20022 XML format is available on the Internet site at www.sepa.lt.

What is a deadline to complete the amendments related to the SEPA requirements in the systems of corporate customers and the bank?

In Lithuania the SEPA requirements will have to come into effect on 1 January 2016.

E-invoice

Will the direct debit service continue in 2016?

A direct debit service currently available in Lithuania cannot be accessed in the market as of 1 January 2016 because it does not comply with the SEPA requirements.

Šiaulių bankas will offer to Lithuanian companies a new electronic invoicing service, an alternative solution for an easy collection of funds from payers.

 Beneficiaries engaged in direct debit transactions and willing to effectively collect funds from their taxpayers following 1 January 2016 shall contact Šiaulių bankas for the e-invoicing service.

Direct debit mandates granted by payers by 28 December 2015 will be automatically changed to automatic e-invoice payment agreements.

What is an e-invoice?

It is an electronic invoice that is created, sent, recorded and stored in an electronic environment.

How is e-invoicing going to work?

Upon agreement with the bank, beneficiaries (usually companies) will issue a VAT invoice for services rendered and present to their customers and business partners via online banking whereas the latter, in their turn, will be able to pay an e-invoice with a single click or select an automatic payment. They, on their turn will be able to settle e-invoices by clicking a single button or to select an automated payment.

What are the steps companies need to take to commence the e-invoicing service?

Companies (beneficiaries) who wish to collect funds through the e-invoicing service should perform the following steps:

  • Notify the bank of their intention to use the e-invoicing service no later than 1 September 2015;
  • Agree with the bank on the direct debit service replacement with the e-invoicing service;
  • Adapt their accounting systems and other applications to the e-invoicing technical standard;
  • Enter into an e-invoicing service agreement with the bank;
  • Issue e-invoices to payers as of 1 January 2016.

Will the existing direct debit payers have to submit new mandates for the receipt and payment of e-invoices?

The idea is that the existing payers should not submit new mandates. Their direct debit mandates would be carried into the e-invoicing service and an automatic payment of e-invoices would be set up.

How can a company (beneficiary) present the e-invoicing data to the bank?

A company (beneficiary) will provide the bank with the data in a uniform XML format unanimously agreed among market participants. The data can be submitted via internet banking.

How payers will receive e-invoices?

E-Invoices will be presented via online banking. If payers do not use online banking, they can find out the amount payable, print the invoice, select the automatic payment or pay the e-invoice by a one-time credit transfer at the bank branch.

Where can I find information about the e-invoice project?

E-invoicing technical standards and other documentation are published on the website of the Association of Lithuanian Banks. 

Can a natural person be a beneficiary?

A natural person has the right to participate in e-invoicing scheme as a beneficiary however every payment service provider shall discretely decide whether such a person's business model is compatible with the risk level defined by the payment service provider.