SEPA Credit Transfer
SEPA credit transfers have been available for processing both domestic and cross-border European payments since 28 January 2008. In order to use this procedure, a payment service provider must first sign the corresponding European Payments Council (EPC) adherence agreement and convert its systems to process SEPA payments. The EPC provides an up-to-date list of the over 4,500 payment service providers participating in SEPA.
As a result of the implementation of the Payments Services Directive (PSD) into national law, the processing time for national and cross-border payments in Europe may only be one banking business day since January 2012. In the case of a paper-based transfer medium submitted to the payment service provider, the execution time is extended to a maximum of two banking business days. It makes no difference - either in terms of the execution time or the fees - whether a euro credit transfer is made to another SEPA participating country, provided that it belongs to the European Union or the European Economic Area, or within Germany. The Eurosystem regularly calculates the use of SEPA credit transfers in the euro area as a whole and in the individual SEPA participating countries on the basis of so-called SEPA indicators.
In February 2014 the SEPA credit transfer replaced the national credit transfer scheme in the euro countries. As of February 1, 2016, for payments within the EEA, the remitter only has to provide the IBAN (International Bank Account Number) as the account identifier. For cross-border SEPA credit transfers outside the EEA, the BIC (Business Identifier Code) must be provided in addition to the IBAN.
SEPA payments can only be processed in euros. For payments in other European currencies (e.g. British pounds or Danish crowns), special forms (e.g. a foreign transfer) and processing conditions (e.g. charges, execution times) are still required.