How to make SEPA payments

You probably got to this page as you want to either know more about SEPA or simply know how to make payments to a SEPA account. To know more about SEPA click here.

To make payments in SEPA all you need is the IBAN number of the person or company you want to pay. Most of the time if you enter an IBAN it will auto populate the BIC:

An example of a B2B Pay IBAN:

Name: Sample Company GmBH
IBAN: GB32TCCL0099XXXXXXXXX
BIC:

An IBAN which is a SEPA IBAN can start with any of these prefixes:

Euro Zone countries: FI, PT,BE, AT,ES,CY,EE,FI,FR,DE,GR,IE,IT,LV,LT,LU,PT,MT,MC,NL,MT,MC,NL,PT,SM,SK,SI,ES
Non-euro zone countries but still part of SEPA: BG,CZ,DK,GI,HU,IS,LI,NO,PL,RO,SE,CH,GB

An easy way to check if a IBAN is SEPA enabled is to use the website IBAN.com. Simply enter the IBAN and click Validate IBAN. it will check the IBAN and also tell you if the IBAN is SEPA enabled.

iban.com, IBAN, IBAN Checker,

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To make the payment:

There are over 1000 banks in Europe. Each with their own online banking platform making it hard to make a guide for SEPA payments. Basically from all the banks I have seen the user experience falls into two categories

1) Modern: Enter IBAN/customer name and pay.

Newer and modern banks like N26.com or Fidor make it very easy for users to make SEPA transfers. They have one screen for all SEPA payments and do not differentiate between which country you are paying. The key principle of SEPA is that all payments with the zone are treated as equal.

In the below example. You simply need to click on transfers. Enter the recipient's name and IBAN number. You then have to enter the amount and payment reference and hit the pay button.

The banks system does not differentiate between your countries IBAN and other countries in the SEPA zone. So for example you can make payments to France, Germany, FInland all using the same screen.

Example from N26.com

2) Complex old banking systems

Lot of the old fashioned banks have one screen for domestic payments (within the country and another for all international payments). For example a german customer using Deutsche Bank will pay german euro accounts using the Domestic transfer screen. But for SEPA transfers to france will use the international screen. This is frustrating as its the same currency and same system.

Example for a Deutsche Bank customers:

If you are making a SEPA transfers to a german customer then you need to select Domestic transfers. If the payment is to other SEPA countries like France or Great Britain, then you need to select International transfers.

Select if its a domestic or international payment:

a) For Domestic transfers

Enter the name/IBAN . Then enter amount and reference before hitting send.

b) For international SEPA transfers.

First we need to select the country where the payment is send and the currency.

Second, once you have selected the country and currency. It will automatically check if its SEPA country or not. For example if you select EURO and Great Britain it will automatically know that it is a SEPA payment. If you select EURO and United states, then it is not a SEPA payment and will and you to make a SWIFT payments.

Assuming you have selected euro and a SEPA country, you will get the below screen. Now you need to enter the Customer name and IBAN . then enter amount and payment reference before sending the payment.

Warning! If you have selected a non-SEPA country or another currency you will come to the below screen which is for making SWIFT or wire transfers. As you can see they look very similar the big difference being it will ask you for a lot more information.

  • Barclays
  • Techstars
  • Nestholma
  • Nordea
  • Tekes
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