SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area. SEPA will allow customers to make euro payments throughout Europe as easily, securely and efficiently as they do today within their own countries.
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) will allow customers to make euro payments throughout Europe as easily, securely and efficiently as they do today within their own countries. The ECB sees SEPA as anintegrated market for payment services, which is subject to effective competition and where there is no distinction between cross-border and national payments within Europe.This calls for the removal of all technical, legal and commercial barriers between the current national payment markets. The ECB, DNB and the other European central banks are working to make this happen.Once SEPA has been completed, there will no longer be any distinction between national and cross-border euro payments – they will all be domestic.
SEPA covers not only the euro area. Countries outside the euro area have also adopted SEPA standards and practices for their euro payments. However, legal coverage applies to countries within the EU only.
Countries which participate in SEPA:
- All countries within the European Union (EU)
- San Marino
- Vatican City
- United Kingdom
SEPA in numbers
- 36 countries in Europe participate in SEPA
- Over 523 million citizens are able to make SEPA payments
- Over 4,500 payment service providers have signed up for SEPA credit transfers
- Over 3,900 payment service providers have signed up for the SEPA core direct debit scheme
- Over 3,400 payment service providers have signed up for the SEPA business-to-business direct debit scheme.
Does a firm or organisation not accept your foreign bank account number? If this is the case, you may be the victim of IBAN discrimination.
You can report this to our IBAN discrimination helpline. IBAN stands for international bank account number. An IBAN is discriminated against if it is rejected because the bank account is being held in another country. This is against the law. EU Regulation 260/2012 provides that bank account numbers from all 26 countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) must be accepted.
The SEPA was established in 2014, and our helpline has been available since then to tackle IBAN discrimination and resolve complaints. Fill in the web form, so we can efficiently process your complaint. We will of course report back to you. Go to ourfrequently asked questionsto read more about SEPA and IBAN discrimination.
From 20 January 2020, sanctions may be imposed in the event of IBAN discrimination. This means we can impose a cease and desist order or a fine. We comply with the GDPR privacy rules when dealing with your complaint.