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European payments (SEPA)

SEPA payment order allows consumers to send EUR throughout Europe to banks that concluded an agreement regarding SEPA standard payments.

What is SEPA?

SEPA is a Single Euro Payment Area and is based on cooperation between different banking systems of European Union countries using common rules. The settlement system for payments in EUR is dedicated to the financial institutions of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco and San Marino. You can make payments between banks that have concluded the contract for realizing payments within this system.

List of SEPA system users

 

 

Basic qualities of SEPA transfer:

  • Transactions in EUR.
  • No maximum limit of transaction value.
  • Transaction is transferred in its full amount. The amount cannot be decreased by additional fees.
  • Shared cost option (SHA): costs are shared between both parties. This means that the sender covers a percentage of his or her bank and the remaining costs are covered by the recipient.
  • IBAN Only: according to this rule, payment service suppliers will not demand a BIC code (identifies payment services suppliers in international settlements) when initiating payments that meet SEPA demands. A unique identifier of the Payment Recipient is his or her account number, which is presented in the IBAN format.

 

 

Comparison between SEPA and SWIFT

  SEPA SWIFT
Currency EUR All currencies
Area EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino. Worldwide
Cost options SHA BEN – costs are covered by payment’s reciepient
OUR - costs are covered by payment’s sender
SHA – costs are shared by sender and recipient
Duration D+1 (money is transferred by the end of the following working day) D+3 (money is transferred up to three days after the transfer has been commissioned)
Established range of transfer costs 5-10 zł 40-200 zł
Costs of intermediary banks No costs Possible costs

 

 

Why SEPA?

SEPA’s purpose is to create a homogeneous payment services market. In this market, consumers and entrepreneurs are able to make payments easily, quickly, safely and at the same cheap cost as in their countries-of-origin. SEPA impacts each payment in EUR within the European Union. In this way, it contributes to the creation of a homogeneous market for payment services. This is an area in which citizens, entrepreneurs and other economic entities are able to make, as well as receive, payments in EUR throughout Europe (internationally as well) according to the same simple rules, legal regulations and obligations, and regardless of citizenship status. The same is true of entrepreneurs.