Sepa countries

List of SEPA countries {Updated 2021 version}

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SEPA, a well-known name among Europeans and those with ties to Europe, stands for Single Euro Payments Area, and SEPA money transfer an initiative of the European Union countries and governments that simplifies bank transfers denominated in EUR. As of January 2021, SEPA has 36 member-states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden, the 3 EEA countries of Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and also Switzerland, Monaco and Britain stays SEPA country despite of brexit. 

Why should I open a SEPA account in Europe?

Getting a European account makes sense for individuals who travel to European Union and other member countries of the SEPA system, and for businesses working with these countries. An IBAN account means:

  • cheaper cash withdrawals while in Europe,
  • fast, standardized transactions in euro,
  • convenient purchasing with your own European credit/debit/payment card within eurozone,
  • as well as easy mobile and online (ebanking) banking apps and great customer service. 

Some of the EEA members (EEA is an extended European family, including EU and its economic partners) are widely cashless, and having a debit/credit/payment card from any European financial institution spares you time and costs. 

How to get a European SEPA?

In case of people conducting business inside Europe, if you’re working as an exporter and your clients are based in Europe, you can get a virtual bank account with B2B Pay and benefit from the advantages the SEPA regulations offer. One of the advantages of SEPA is that the amount of money you send arrives unchanged on the bank account of the recipient, because the charges on such transfers are tightly regulated. According to the decision of the European Parliament, the fees applied to cross-border transfers in eurozone’s common currency, Euro, between SEPA member countries, cannot be higher than the charges applied to equivalent domestic transfers (for amounts up to 50.000 EUR). 

It also means it’s mostly enough to have one bank account in Europe to conveniently do business in other states. If you decide to use our services, B2B Pay will take care of lowering the cost of your banking, making it up to 80% cheaper than a normal bank transfer.

What are other advantages of the SEPA payments?

How much time does it take for my payment to settle? Most SEPA payments are settled the next day.

As of November 2017, banks have been implementing Instant SEPA, which will settle payments of up to 15.000 EUR within 10 seconds.

SEPA: cheap, easy and fast

SEPA is set up in a way that makes banking seamless and quick internationally. Bank transfers can even happen without a fee, as banks are only allowed to charge the same amount for SEPA payments as for their equivalents in local currencies - if there is a fee waiver on domestic transfers in euros, there must be one for international ones. 

SEPA enables businesses and customers to use cross-border bank transfers without the hassle and fees associated with conventional banking. For exporters who want to access SEPA, a bank account in one of the member countries is required. While it might be difficult to open an IBAN account in Europe without being formally registered in one of the members countries, we have found a solution: with our virtual bank account you can benefit from the initiative. 

SEPA transfer


SEPA points to a single currency system, yet in reality, many of the countries participating in the system did not adopt the common currency. The agreements at the core of the system have encouraged financial institutions in all 36 SEPA member countries to offer Euro bank accounts to their customers, so they can also benefit from it. There are exceptions: Akrotiri and Dhekelia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Kosovo, and Montenegro are the countries that use euro as a currency and are not part of the SEPA.


Do I get an IBAN account with B2B?

The virtual bank account offered by B2B is an International Bank Account (IBAN), which allows you to make international transfers. Your virtual bank account in Europe can be linked to the bank in your home country, while B2B Pay provides technology (with a payment API) to enable these transactions, cheaper and faster they used to take. 

SEPA, as an agreement, is designed to encourage activity among European countries, keeping things simpler for exporters, importers, and others in business, as well as the customers. A SEPA bank transfer is usually free and takes no more than an hour or two (on a working day) between the majority of financial institutions within the system. By opening an account with us, you’re part of that convenient solution.

 

SEPA credit transfer vs direct debit - what’s the difference?

SEPA credit transfer

A SEPA credit transfer is done in euros. It is a simple one-time transfer of funds between banks with IBAN identification codes. If the transfer was scheduled before the cutoff time on a working day, the recipient will receive it on the same day. SEPA credit transfers are used by customers as one-time payments for goods or services.


SEPA debit transfer

Unlike SEPA credit transfer, which is a simple one-time payment, SEPA debit transfer is a recurring payment across borders within the EU. There are two types of these payments, and their usage differs. First one is designed for customers paying for products, services and goods and all banks in SEPA countries are obliged to participate in this scheme. The second one was devised for industry and businesses, and is not mandatory for all the banks inside SEPA agreements. 

In order to set up a SEPA debit transfer, customer supplies a signed authorization to the payee, along with information about the bank account that will be charged: name of the owner of the account, account number, IBAN, and BIC. The merchant or payee has to retain proof (a mandate) that the customer has authorized the recurring payment. Mandates can be either electronic or in paper form.

  • SEPA debit transfers can be set up on a recurring basis for a certain number of times or an indefinite number of times, until cancelled. SEPA debit transfers can be set up between consumers and businesses, for example to pay monthly rent, facilities, a recurring loan payment, or other services, say, housecleaning, electricity, or internet access. The transfer will be done automatically on a predetermined date.
  • SEPA debit transfers can also be set up between two businesses to pay recurring fees. For example, a business may subcontract another business to provide security for a recurring regular fee that can be paid via SEPA debit. In this case, both creditor and debtor have to submit mandates to the bank.

European Payment Council

SEPA credit and debit transfers were established by the European Payment Council as a way to improve international payment processing and impose standards within SEPA and its 36 different countries. In order to use SEPA credit and debit transfers, service providers have to be formal participants in the SEPA scheme.

B2B Pay only works with credit transfers

With B2B Pay exporters outside of Europe can get a virtual bank account inside the SEPA region, including IBAN number. Note: the B2B Pay account only works with credit transfers.

Map of SEPA payment zone countries

When did SEPA start?

Credit transfers became available across Europe in January 2008. Direct debits and debit cards were made possible at the end of 2010. It has led to more competition, and cheaper, more efficient cross border Euro payment transfers.

The newest members in the SEPA team are Andorra and Vatican, which joined the agreement in 2019. 

SEPA has 36 member-states: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden, the 3 EEA countries of Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and also Switzerland and Monaco.

 

SEPA countries list

EUR countries and territories

This is a list of SEPA zone countries that use the Euro as their main currency.

Country IBAN/BIC code
Åland Islands FI
Andorra AD
Austria AT
Azores PT
Belgium BE
Canary Island ES
Cyprus CY
Estonia EE
Finland FI
France FR
Germany DE
Gibraltar GI
Greece GR
Ireland IE
Italy IT
Latvia LV
Lithuania LT
Luxembourg LU
Madeira PT
Malta MT
Monaco MC
Netherlands NL
Portugal PT
San Marino SM
Slovakia SK
Slovenia SI
Spain ES

SEPA countries where EUR is not local currency

Currency code where the local currency differs from the Euro. Also in non-EURO countries most importers have Euro bank accounts and can thus transfer money over SEPA for free.

Country IBAN/BIC code Currency code
Bulgaria BG BGN
Croatia HR HRK
Czech Republic CZ CZK
Denmark DK DKK
Gibraltar GI GIP
Hungary HU HUF
Iceland IS ISK
Liechtenstein LI CHF
Norway NO NOK
Poland PL PLN
Romania RO RON
Sweden SE SEK
Switzerland CH CHF
UK GB GBP

BIC code differs from IBAN code

French overseas territories have a different BIC code. IBAN bank account numbers start with FR.

Territory BIC code IBAN code
French Guiana GF FR
Guadeloupe GP FR
Martinique MQ FR
Mayotte YT FR
Réunion RE FR
Saint Barthélemy BL FR
Saint Martin (French part) MF FR
Saint Pierre and Miquelon PM FR

 

If you're looking for an Excel sheet or a machine readable .csv:

sepa-countries.csv

Is the UK stays a SEPA country with Brexit?

Yes, England stays a SEPA country. While not being a member of the European Union, the UK will stay SEPA country on similar agreements as Switzerland and Monaco. See the financial implications of Brexit.

A SEPA transfer is also accessible for companies outside of Europe

When you sign up with B2B Pay, you will get your own account with a bank in Europe, inside the SEPA zone. We provide this service to companies in the United States, Canada, India, Singapore and many other countries. B2B Pay is a global B2B payment system for exporters moving their goods to Europe, and it is powered by Barclays, Nordea Bank and Techstars.

With B2B Pay your payments are handled for free inside SEPA, then transferred to your national/local bank account for the best fee on the market, up to 80% less than what you're currently paying. With B2B Pay you can increase your profit margins by 10-20%. Check our case study to see how, and contact us if you have questions.

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Further reading about a SEPA Transfer

An Introduction to SEPA by the EPC

The European Payments Council produced this extended video of almost 8 minutes about SEPA.

sepa
 

 

How to open a bank account in Europe

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple European countries and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.



How to open a bank account overseas

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple countries all over the world and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.


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