SEPA is short for Single Euro Payments Area, is an initiative of the E.U. for simplification of bank transfers made in euro. SEPA consists of 28 member states plus the following countries: Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, Andorra and Monaco.
People who have a bank account denominated in euro are able to receive and make payments without any conversion, benefit of lower fees and faster transaction times.
In some countries SEPA payments, especially SEPA Direct Debit might experience failures, due to the way SEPA has been implemented by local banks. Direct Debit is the process where you allow a third party to charge your account on agreed dates.
It is possible to make and receive SEPA payments, set up SEPA Direct Debit to and from an E.U. country outside Eurozone. E.U. countries outside Eurozone are the following:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
Keep in mind that in order to use SEPA payments and SEPA direct debit in countries outside the Eurozone the you must have a bank account denominated in Euro.
In order to make SEPA transactions and set up SEPA Direct Debit keep in mind the following:
- The Bank Identifier Codes (BIC), also known as SWIFT code, you can find it here
- The International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN)
- To find your IBAN and BIC, just contact your bank or look at your bank statement.
- The only exception is the UK where you may be given the option to use Sort Code and bank account number.