Guide to SEPA payments


What is a SEPA payment?

3 minute read

SEPA stands for the Single Euro Payments Area; the EU implemented a payment integration initiative in order to simplify cross-border payments using the euro. Currently, there are 36 members of SEPA; this number includes countries which use the euro and those that have their own currencies and also contains countries that are not EU members. The primary aim was to create a single domestic market for the euro and enable cashless payments across the Eurozone. 

A payment in euros to any of the SEPA countries could be facilitated by the system. A SEPA transfer only applies to transactions in euro, other currencies will be sent using alternatives supported in the destination country. It isn’t the only way to transfer funds across borders within the EU, but SEPA payments offer the benefit of efficiency and for individuals with a bank account in a Eurozone country, a simple way to transfer funds to other countries using the euro.


What countries are in the SEPA zone? 

The 36 countries in the SEPA zone include the 28 member states of the EU, the four member states of the European Free Trade Association and countries signed up with full membership. In addition, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City participate in technical schemes to operate within the SEPA zone. Membership does not require use of the euro as a country’s currency, but it does require adherence to technical and financial standards. This means if the UK intends to remain within the SEPA zone post-Brexit, there will be a requirement to continue to comply with those rules.


How to make a SEPA payment

If you don’t have a bank account in the Eurozone, you can’t make a SEPA transfer or create a SEPA direct debit from your bank account. However, you can still make use of the SEPA facility using your moneycorp international payments account. 


How much is a SEPA payment?

There is an additional change for sending your funds via SEPA as a means of express delivery. The cost depends on a number of factors, including the sum being transferred and the exact nature of the payment and means of delivery.


How long do SEPA payments take?

The SEPA concept was developed to increase efficiency in the transfer of euros with a single bank account and single set of payment instructions. SEPA payments reduce the time taken to send euros so that your payment can be delivered within two working days. 


To find out more about SEPA payments, and about making a currency transfer, you can speak with your account manager or another of our dedicated currency exchange specialists. You can contact us via phone or email. 


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