SEPA payments: How to transfer money within the EU

SEPA payments: How to transfer money within the EU

Are you still confused about all the types of international payments and don’t know what provider to choose? In today’s Genome article, we explain SEPA transfers – the most common transactions abroad within the EU. We will dig into online money transfers in EUR and talk about their pros and cons. Read on!

What is SEPA

SEPA transfers, just like any other international transactions, are possible thanks to the exchange of messages through the electronic network. That is, banks send and receive messages to move funds from one account to another. SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) is one such network. One more worldwide known system is SWIFT – Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. 

SEPA network supports only euro transactions as it’s an official EU currency. With so many countries using EUR, processing bank payments for days would cause delays for both financial and business processes. That’s why the SEPA system was introduced back in 2008. As of now, it still receives numerous improvements (like adding new types of SEPA payments) to keep up with all the latest financial trends and satisfy even the most demanding customers. 

Let’s have a look at all the SEPA transfers available: 

SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT)SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst)SEPA Direct Debit (SDD)
DescriptionRegular paymentAlmost immediate transaction for additional costsOnly a Core scheme (for private individuals)  is a requirement for all the banks participating in SEPAB2B scheme is supported too (for businesses and enterprises)
Timeframes1 business dayUp to 10 secondsCore – minimum 2 working days;B2B – minimum 3 business days
Maximum amount€999,999,999.99€100,000As agreed upon by the parties

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SEPA pros and cons

The SEPA system has surely simplified the money movement process in the eurozone. Literally, anyone can now send and accept money in their mobile banking application anytime and anywhere within the SEPA area

SEPA advantages:

  • Fast and easy domestic and international bank transfers
  • Speedy international direct debit payments 
  • Low costs and no hidden fees
  • Businesses get access to a broader European market (36 countries in the SEPA area)

SEPA disadvantages:

  • They only work in the eurozone and can be only made in euro currency. Such transactions won’t work with USD, GBP, or any other currency.

SEPA transfers are fast and convenient for both personal and business needs. No matter whether you’re running a small company or an enterprise, SEPA payments allow you to enlarge the client base to all 36 countries in the eurozone instead of just one territory. The same goes for contractors – you can pay them from anywhere in the SEPA area.

One network in Europe also saves time and money when it comes to personal payments. For instance, whenever your friends or relatives need some funds on vacation, you can easily send the necessary sum within one day between different countries. Similarly, one can just order SEPA anytime in case of emergency – SEPA Instant Credit Transfer will arrive within 10 seconds for a small fee.   

SEPA transfers with Genome

Genome is a financial ecosystem that takes care of all possible money issues. With us, you can open a personal account and exchange different currencies right in your digital wallet. You can also open a business account with us and make use of our merchant services.

We support SEPA transactions for both our business and personal digital wallets users. To make a euro payment, go to Transfers and hit the button Send in the right bottom corner of our mobile banking application. In the next screen, you will need to choose if you’re ordering a regular SEPA transfer to any bank account or internal transaction between Genome users. The last ones are free and instant. Then, fill in the required bank account details and the payment date and hit the button Continue. Also, you don’t need to fill in BIC/SWIFT code – we are pre-filling this for you! Thus, you will only need to provide a receiver’s IBAN. 


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How do I do a European bank transfer?

Most European countries (36 of them, to be more precise) have successfully adopted the SEPA system – a single network for receiving and sending euro transactions. Single Euro Payments Area has made cross-border transactions cheap and fast. Most EU banks are members of the SEPA system, and consequently, anyone can make such transfers right from their mobile banking app. 

How does a SEPA transfer work?

The SEPA system includes such types of financial transactions as credit transfers, direct debits, card payments, and even ATM withdrawals. Euro bank transfers are processed with the exact same fees as local transactions (usually, there are no fees at all, but it depends on the financial services provider). 

How much money can I transfer within Europe?

Each bank sets up its own transfer limits, but they are mostly the same with all providers. The maximum amount for SEPA will be different depending on the type of transaction you’re making: 

  • SEPA Credit Transfer – €999,999,999.99
  • SEPA Instant Credit Transfer – €100,000
  • SEPA Direct Debit – both parties agree on the limits beforehand

Can I make a SEPA payment to the UK? 

Yes, the UK remains a SEPA member despite leaving the EU. However, one can still transfer money online to this country, as well as accept funds from it.