SEPA payments have a low cost, which has been a major boost for international trade in Europe. As a business, you can transfer and receive euros to and from all countries within the SEPA zone if the recipient bank is SEPA compliant. The SEPA system allows you to make business transfers easy, secure and fast from day to day.
However, SEPA does not cover payments in currencies other than the euro, meaning that business payments in SEPA countries not using the euro will continue to use local systems.
So, what happens when you transfer money to accounts in countries which are in SEPA but don’t use the euro as currency? What exchange rate is used, and are any transfer fees charged? The exchange rate that the destination bank uses depends on their own currency exchange rates.
You can find out what rates may apply by searching for the destination bank’s exchange rate on our website. All banks have individual rates and commission structures for international currency transfers. Find the latest exchange rates for an overseas bank using our Bank Rate Comparison below:
If you operate a business in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), you’ve probably heard of the new SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme. The scheme enables instant payments between European accounts in under 10 seconds, both domestically and across borders.
SCT Inst went live in late 2017, and it’s being rolled out by early adopters in some countries, beginning with Austria, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain. Over the next few years it will be expanded to other banks and European countries, including the Nordic region, potentially reaching 34 countries in total.
One drawback that surrounds this system is that SCT Inst will have a maximum payment limit of €15,000, to help reduce the potential impact of fraud.
SEPA is an abbreviation for Single Euro Payments Area. SEPA is a payment initiative commenced jointly by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Banks (via the EPC: European Payment Council) with the aim of facilitating the process of bank transfers in euro currency – and thus easy transactions between SEPA countries.
SEPA countries consist of all the EU countries as well as the four member states of the European Free Trade Association. The full list is: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The intention is to promote international business activity among European countries which trade and use the euro as their payment currency. The purpose is thus to simplify processes for exporters, importers and other businesses in trade and industry as well as consumers who buy products and services from the companies concerned. SEPA uses euro as a currency and is regulated by the European Payment Council.
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