Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

Thanks to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), customers can now make cashless euro payments – via credit transfer and direct debit – to anywhere in the European Union, as well as a number of non-EU countries, in a fast, safe and efficient way, just like national payments. SEPA was introduced for credit transfers in 2008, followed by direct debits in 2009, and fully implemented by 2014 in the euro area (and by 2016 in non-euro area SEPA countries).

The payment integration triggered by SEPA has contributed to the efficiency and competitiveness of the European economy as a whole by eliminating differences between national and cross-border payments by harmonising standards in all the participating countries. The legal framework for SEPA – which the ECB helped to draw up in close cooperation with the European Commission – is based mainly on the Cross-border payments regulation, the Payment Services Directive (PSD/PSD2), the SEPA migration end-date Regulation, and the Interchange Fee Regulation.

SEPA was launched by the European banking and payments industry with the support of national governments, the European Commission, the Eurosystem, and other public authorities. As SEPA not only harmonised the way non-cash euro payments are conducted, but also completed the introduction of the euro as the single currency, the Eurosystem had a very strong interest in the success of the SEPA project.

Participation

The SEPA region consists of 36 European countries, including several countries which are not part of the euro area or the European Union (status: 1 March 2019).

Interactive map of countries in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

Andorra

Non-EU SEPA country

Albania

Non-EU non-SEPA country

Austria

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016
    1. for niche products (image transfer)
    2. for card payments resulting in a direct debit
  • Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Non-EU non-SEPA country

Belgium

EU Member State with euro as currency

migration status: COMPLETE

Bulgaria

EU Member State with a currency other than the euro

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 31 October 2016

Migration successfully completed.

Switzerland

Non-EU SEPA country

Cyprus

EU Member State with euro as currency

migration status:COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016
    1. for BBAN – IBAN conversion facilities for consumers
    2. for niche products (business continuity arrangements for credit transfers)
    3. for delayed usage of standard message format ISO 20022 XML
    4. for delayed BIC elimination for national payment transactions
  • Status of phasing out business continuity arrangements for credit transfers niche product: Fully migrated
  • Status of phasing out BBAN – IBAN conversion facilities for consumers and delayed BIC elimination for national payment transactions Waivers: Fully migrated
  • Status of phasing out delayed usage of standard message format ISO 20022 XML Waiver: Fully migrated

Czech Republic

EU Member State with a currency other than the euro

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 31 October 2016

Migration successfully completed.

Germany

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016
    1. for BBAN – IBAN conversion facilities for consumers
    2. for card payments resulting in a direct debit
  • Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated by 1 February 2016 with no issues

Denmark

EU Member State with a currency other than the euro

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 31 October 2016

Migration successfully completed.

Estonia

EU Member State with euro as currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016
    1. for BBAN – IBAN conversion facilities for consumers
    2. for delayed usage of standard message format ISO 20022 XML
  • Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated

Spain

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016
    1. for BBAN – IBAN conversion facilities for consumers
    2. for niche products (cuaderno 58 & cuaderno 32)
    3. for delayed usage of standard message format ISO 20022 XML
  • Status of phasing out cuaderno 58 & cuaderno 32 niche products: Fully migrated
  • Status of phasing out BBAN – IBAN conversion facilities for consumers and delayed usage of standard message format ISO 20022 XML Waivers: Fully migrated

Finland

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

France

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016 for niche products (interbank payment orders & electronic payment orders)
  • Status of phasing out “titre interbancaire de paiement” (TIP) niche product: Fully migrated
  • Status of phasing out “télérèglement” niche product: Fully migrated

United Kingdom

EU Member State with a currency other than the euro

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 31 October 2016

Migration successfully completed.

Greece

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016
    1. for niche products (non-automatic credit)
    2. for delayed usage of standard message format ISO 20022 XML
    3. for delayed BIC elimination for national payment transactions
  • Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated

Croatia

EU Member State with a currency other than the euro

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 31 October 2016

Migration successfully completed.

Hungary

EU Member State with a currency other than the euro

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 31 October 2016

Migration successfully completed.

Ireland

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016 for delayed BIC elimination for national payment transactions
  • Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated

Iceland

Non-EU SEPA country

Italy

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016
    1. for niche products (RID finanziari & Rid a importo fisso)
    2. for delayed usage of standard message format ISO 20022 XML
  • ISO 20022 XML Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated

Liechtenstein

Non-EU SEPA country

Lithuania

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 1 January 2016

As of Q1 2016 SEPA credit transfer migration is completed.

Luxembourg

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

Latvia

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016 for delayed usage of standard message format ISO 20022 XML
  • Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated

Monaco

Non-EU SEPA country

Montenegro

Non-EU non-SEPA country

Macedonia

Non-EU non-SEPA country

Malta

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016 for delayed BIC elimination for national payment transactions
  • Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated

The Netherlands

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016 for niche products (NL direct debit no-refund scheme for lotteries)
  • Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated

Norway

Non-EU SEPA country

Poland

EU Member State with a currency other than the euro

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 31 October 2016

Migration successfully completed.

Portugal

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver until 1 Feb. 2016
    1. for BBAN – IBAN conversion facilities for consumers
    2. for delayed usage of standard message format ISO 20022 XML
    3. for delayed BIC elimination for national payment transactions
  • Waiver phase-out status:
    1. Status of phasing out BBAN – IBAN conversion facilities Waiver: Fully migrated
    2. Status of phasing out ISO 20022 XML Waiver: Fully migrated
    3. Status of phasing out delayed BIC elimination Waiver: Fully migrated

Romania

EU Member State with a currency other than the euro

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 31 October 2016

As of Q2 2016 SEPA credit transfer migration is 45.38% completed and as of Q4 2016 SEPA direct debit migration is 100% completed.

Serbia

Non-EU non-SEPA country

Sweden

EU Member State with a currency other than the euro

End date for SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits in euro: 31 October 2016

As of Q4 2016 SEPA credit transfer migration is 99.00% completed.

Slovenia

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

Slovakia

EU Member State with the euro as its currency

migration status: COMPLETE

  • Waiver phase-out status: Fully migrated by 1 February 2016 with no issues

San Marino

Non-EU SEPA country

Kosovo

Non-EU non-SEPA country

Facts & figures

Name Single Euro Payments Area
Implementation year 2014 for euro area countries
2016 for non-euro area SEPA countries
Currency Euro
Cashless payment instruments Credit transfer, direct debit
Speed of processing No longer than one business day for electronic payment orders;
two business days for paper-based payment orders
SEPA area 36 countries (includes some non-euro area and non-EU countries) (status: 1 March 2019)
Stakeholders European banking and payments industry, payment service users, national governments, the European Commission, the Eurosystem, and several other public authorities.
The role of the Eurosystem Catalyst

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