Guide

European banking services

Single European Payment Area

The Single European Payment Area (SEPA) harmonises the way cashless payments are made across Europe.

SEPA allows private individuals and business customers to make non-cash payments in euros - eg by credit or debit card, bank transfer or direct debit - to any beneficiary in the eurozone.

SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) means there is no longer any difference between domestic and international payments. For payments into a bank account within the European Union (EU), no bank commission should be payable as long as the bank subscribes to the SEPA initiative.

SEPA can offer businesses many facilities, such as:

  • accepting payment cards from all SEPA countries
  • simplified financial processing
  • a single bank account to cover all of Europe
  • faster settlement - standardised
  • improved cash flow
  • reduced costs

Banking costs under SEPA

The development of SEPA will mean lower banking costs due to:

  • increased efficiency
  • open market competition
  • lower operational costs

The European Commission provide an overview of SEPA, including benefits, regulation and migration.