Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

Sending or receiving a money transfer using your bank account? SEPA allows you to make a bank transfer from France to another country in the European Union.

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What are SEPA money transfers?

A SEPA money transfer is an international money transfer made through the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). SEPA is a money transfer system that makes cross-border euro bank transfers as easy as domestic money transfers.

The European Payments Council supports and promotes SEPA and the area is made up of countries in the Eurozone.

If you need to make a SEPA money transfer, you can conveniently do that with Western Union. Learn how to send money to a bank account with Western Union bank transfer.

What countries use SEPA?

There are currently 36 European countries that make up the SEPA zone, including some countries that are not included in the euro area or the European Union.

How do SEPA money transfers work?

SEPA money transfers work similarly to domestic bank transfers except with SEPA you’re able to transfer money across borders to other SEPA countries that use euros. You’ll typically need the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) of the person you are sending money to and to be sure the bank receiving the money is a member of SEPA.

Frequently asked questions about SEPA money transfers

What is a SEPA money transfer?

SEPA money transfers are a European Union (EU) initiative for harmonizing payments across Europe. The goal is to simplify cross-border money transfers in euros. SEPA money transfers across Europe are as easy and convenient as domestic money transfers by using the same payment instruments.

What is SEPA Direct Debit?

SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) is a payment method that allows businesses to directly pull funds from a customer’s euro bank account. This direct debit must be authorized by the customer and a business needs the customer’s name and IBAN formatted bank account number to perform a direct debit.

SEPA Direct Debit is available in two schemes and offers both individuals and businesses a secure bill payment method. The SDD Core scheme is designed mainly for consumers, while the SDD B2B is exclusively for businesses.

What is the SEPA Credit Transfer service?

The SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) service grants payment service providers the ability to transfer payments between bank accounts across Europe with ease. SCT transactions can be single or bulk payments as well as one-off or recurring payments. To participate, payment service providers must formally participate in the SEPA scheme.

What are the benefits of SEPA money transfers?

SEPA money transfers provide easy, convenient cross-border bank transfers within Europe. Not only are SEPA money transfers fast, but also secure and cost-effective.

What are the drawbacks of SEPA money transfers?

SEPA is limited to the countries that formally participate and whose national currency is the euro.

How long do SEPA money transfers take?

SEPA money transfers typically take no longer than 1-2 business days1.

Can I send multiple currencies using SEPA money transfers?

Whether you’re sending money online or with an international money transfer app, all SEPA money transfers are completed in euros, even if the relevant bank accounts are not in euros. If there are different currencies between banks, currency exchange will be required. If this occurs, the sender’s bank determines what fees are applicable for this service.

What is the difference between SEPA and SWIFT/BIC?

While both SEPA and SWIFT/BIC enable cross-border money transfers, SEPA money transfers can only be made in euros within the SEPA area, whereas SWIFT/BIC money transfers can be made in various currencies internationally.

For SEPA payments, verification is necessary to determine that the SWIFT/BIC is SEPA eligible through contacting a Western Union representative or through accessing the list of SEPA Credit Transfer participants.

What is a non-SEPA money transfer?

A non-SEPA money transfer, also known as an international money transfer, is used when euro transfers are made to non-SEPA countries. Non-SEPA money transfers are also used for non-euro foreign currency payments.

How do I send money to a non-SEPA zone?

Western Union lets you send euros (EUR) to non-SEPA zone bank accounts with ease. We use the SWIFT/BIC payment network to reliably transfer money to bank accounts outside of SEPA.

Have a question or need help?

Have a question about SEPA money transfers? Contact our Customer Care team or visit our FAQ page for more information.

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1 Funds may be delayed or services unavailable based on certain transaction conditions, including amount sent, destination country, currency availability, regulatory issues, identification requirements, Agent location hours, differences in time zones, or selection of delayed options. Additional Restrictions may apply. See terms for details.

2 If you’re using a credit card, a card-issuer cash advance fee and associated interest charges may apply. To avoid these fees or for reduced fees, use a debit card or check other payment methods.