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What is SEPA?

SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area) is a system that standardizes euro payments across participating countries. It revolutionizes the landscape of financial transactions by offering efficiency, convenience, and cost-effectiveness.

WeavePay empowers businesses by providing seamless access to SEPA, enabling smooth and secure cross-border payments. You can easily send and receive high-value international payments through our global business account. Check if your business qualifies here

To learn more about how SEPA works, read on below:

Where did SEPA start?

SEPA, or the Single Euro Payments Area, was developed to simplify European cross-border payments. Its goal was to make transactions across European borders as easy as within a single country. In the words of the European Commission, this initiative aimed to boost economic growth, improve efficiency, and make payment handling smoother for businesses and consumers.

Before SEPA's creation, each European nation had distinct rules and procedures for domestic electronic payments. This led to complications and additional costs when conducting cross-border transactions. Such a fragmented system was counterproductive for a united Europe, creating the necessity for SEPA.

Which countries are in SEPA?

SEPA encompasses a broad group of countries, not only within the European Union but also outside of it. As of the most recent update on the European Central Bank's official website, the SEPA region comprises 36 member countries

These include:

  • All 27 members of the European Union, including some countries that do not use the Euro as their primary currency.
  • The four members of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland).
  • Other countries and territories, including the United Kingdom, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, and Vatican City State.

The SEPA system's expansive coverage ensures that businesses and individuals across these countries can make and receive Euro transactions in a standardized, simplified, and cost-effective manner.

What are the advantages of SEPA?

SEPA offers a few crucial benefits:

  1. Enhanced Efficiency and Cost-effectiveness: SEPA simplifies payment processes across countries and promotes significant cost savings.
  2. Simplified Cross-border Transactions: SEPA makes cross-border payments as straightforward as domestic ones.
  3. Augmented Security and Standardization: SEPA employs robust security measures while standardizing payment formats and procedures.

How much does SEPA cost?

SEPA itself doesn't impose specific charges, but costs are determined by the payment service provider. At WeavePay, we pride ourselves on providing competitive and transparent SEPA transactions through virtual IBANs connected to global business accounts.

[Learn more about our personalized approach and expertise in high-value payments by messaging us directly via live chat.]

How long do SEPA payments take to complete?

The time for a SEPA payment to be completed varies depending on the type of transaction.

Standard SEPA Credit Transfers typically take one business day to process. However, this timeline can be extended if the transaction occurs over a weekend or a national bank holiday.

SEPA Instant Credit Transfers are true to their name - they're usually completed within a few seconds, even on weekends and holidays.

SEPA Direct Debit Core payments, often used for recurring expenses, usually take around two business days to process.

Business to Business Direct Debit transactions, which are designed for transactions between companies, generally take about three business days to complete.

It's important to consider these timelines when planning your transactions, as the exact processing time can vary depending on the type of SEPA payment.

What's the difference between SEPA and SWIFT?

The difference between SEPA and SWIFT is that they're two distinct systems, each serving unique roles in financial transactions. While SEPA simplifies euro-denominated transactions within the EU, SWIFT is a global network that caters to international transactions across multiple currencies.

SEPA and SWIFT can sometimes be seen as competitors, but they're actually complementary systems. SEPA simplifies and standardizes euro transactions within the EU, making it highly efficient for businesses and individuals in this region.

On the other hand, SWIFT serves a more global purpose, facilitating interbank communications across diverse currencies and countries. This makes it the go-to choice for global businesses dealing with transactions in multiple currencies. Learn more about SWIFT in our detailed article.

See if your business is eligible for a global business account.