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How to Send and Receive SEPA Credit Transfers

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by Startacus Admin

bank transfer
If you are a business looking to do a bank transfer between european nations, here is how SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT) can be sent and received.

SEPA is an efficient, simple and reliable payment transfer solution which simplifies bank transfers between European nations. Introduced in 2008, the system is an effective alternative for existing banking models as it can simplify cross-border payments.

The idea and concept for SEPA was first introduced by several EU governments during the 2002 Lisbon Agenda as a way of allowing European countries to become more competitive. With over 28 European nations on its panel along with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Monaco, SEPA is now widely integrated within the banking sector. It is a single payment market which allows businesses and consumers to send and receive payments across the European region as easily as domestic transactions with the same basic rules and rights.

There are three basic SEPA schemes through which payments can be made across Europe in Euros. These are the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT), SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) and SEPA Direct Debit B2B.

Here is how SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT) can be sent and received.

SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT)

SCT is a non-urgent payment debit service using Euro as the central currency. Through SEPA Credit Transfers, payment service providers offer a single credit transfer scheme throughout the SEPA zone. The transaction depends on the International Bank Account Number (IBAN), which is a unique identifier for a bank account based on the country of origin and the branch location. SCT transactions are regulated under the SCT Scheme – this defines the rules and standards for making credit transfers in Euro. 

SCT also supports bulk or single payments in Euros and does not differentiate between domestic and international transfers. There is also no mandatory maximum amount for a funds transfer and the greater timeframe allows for increased security – for example, payment services providers have enough time to investigate if the funds are available in the payees account. This is also an effective measure for identifying and preventing fraudulent transactions.

Sending SEPA Credit Transfers

For sending SEPA Credit Transfers or making outgoing payments, customers need the BIC of the receiving bank and the IBAN of the receiver. With this information debtors or payers can easily make the transaction through internet banking, file transfers or a visit to the local bank branch. Furthermore, SEPA payments can not only be initiated through a Euro account, but also through a foreign currency account. However, the only condition is that the account must be in markets which offer FX conversion services. This means that the currency exchange will take place in real time and at the set market price.

Nevertheless, if the beneficiary’s bank does not support SEPA Credit Transfers your bank will likely send the payment in a format which can be received by his/her bank.

Receiving SEPA Payments

Receiving SEPA Credit Transfers involves informing the sender or debtor of your IBAN and BIC. Typically, IBAN’s can be found on the account statement or internet banking portal. When a bank receives the SCT, they usually transfer the payment on the same day. If there is any currency exchange involved, it is also effected in real time as per the usual market rates. 

Methods of SEPA Credit Transfers

As mentioned above, SCTs can be sent or received through the following methods:

  • Online Banking: Through your online banking portal, you can easily send or receive SCTs through card readers. Another way to conduct SEPA transactions through internet banking is to access the SEPA form through the International Payments option where you will be required to submit the receiver’s IBAN and other required information.
  • Through the Bank Branch: SEPA Credit Transfers can also be conducted through your local bank branch. This will require you to physically visit the branch with the required documents and information, and fill out a SEPA form. Hence, it is advised that senders and receivers first check the list of information and documents needed before visiting the branch.
  • Payment Services Providers: Online payment software solution providers allow you to initiate SEPA transactions to anywhere in Europe. These service providers also offer SEPA Conversion Services through an automated process which is quick and convenient. One such provider is AccessPay who you can easily sign up with if you want to start making SEPA credit transfers.

Overall, SEPA and SCT is an effective way of using only a single bank account to effect Euro payments across Europe. As a way of simplifying and standardising European trade and business, SEPA significantly reduces the banking fee and payment costs required to conduct international transfers within Europe. With SEPA, businesses and customers can also conveniently manage multiple bank accounts across the SEPA zone.

This information is to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing and you may need to do further and more timely research when you are looking to send and receive SEPA credit transfers.

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Published on: 9th September 2017

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