Frequently asked questions on SEPA
These FAQs are valid for the entire SEPA zone.
What is SEPA?
SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) is a project initiated by the European Union that aims to establish a single range of payment methods in euros, common to all European countries.
Which countries are involved in the SEPA framework?
The SEPA zone includes the 28 countries of the European Union as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco and San Marino.
What payment methods are affected by SEPA?
Currently, the payment methods affected are: • domestic credit or cross-border (the accounts must be domiciled in the SEPA zone) transfers in Euros, which will be replaced by the SCT (SEPA Credit Transfer) • domestic direct debits in euros, which will be replaced by the SDD (SEPA Direct Debit)
What is the legal framework of the SEPA?
The Payment Services Directive (PSD) transposed into the laws of the different countries as well as European Regulation No 260/2012 (end date SEPA) establishing the technical requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euros.
THE EUROPEAN CREDIT TRANSFER OR SEPA CREDIT TRANSFER (SCT)
Who is affected by the SCT system?
All economic players (individuals, companies, authorities, etc.) located within the SEPA zone are affected by the SCT system, whatever their size or their business.
What are the main features of an SCT?
An SCT is a credit transfer with the following features: • the principal's bank and the beneficiary's bank are in the SEPA zone; • non-urgent and exclusively in euros • use of BIC and IBAN • a description of 140 characters max. • shared fees selected (Share) All these features are applicable across the entire SEPA zone.
What will happen to international transfers?
Ordinary cross-border transfers in Euros within the SEPA zone must migrate to SEPA transfers
What happens to cash transfers?
Cash transfers (domestic or international) are not affected by the migration to SEPA.
What is the maximum time frame for rejection of a transfer by the beneficiary's bank?
The maximum time for rejection of a credit transfer is three working days after the settlement date.
What is the format to be used for SCTs?
pain.001.xxx.xx (pain = payment initiation)