The National Bank of Georgia on Tuesday submitted an application for the country’s membership in the single euro payments area, which would make cross-border payments in the currency as simple as national payments.
"Georgia is the first country in the [South Caucasus] region to apply for joining the SEPA [...]", the bank announced, pointing out the membership would benefit the credibility of Georgia's financial sector in the international arena, simplify trade relations with the European economic area, and provide Georgian citizens with simplified and cheaper services.
The NBG also stressed the significance of the latter point considering the "growing trend of remittances from EU countries".
The application for membership is reviewed by the European Payments Council, with its next session scheduled for November.
SEPA was introduced for credit transfers in 2008, followed by direct debits in 2009. The system was fully implemented by 2014 in the euro area and by 2016 in non-euro area countries that are members of the platform.
It is available in 36 countries that include 27 EU member states plus the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and Vatican City State.