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European payments (SEPA)

SEPA payment order allows consumers to send the EUR in all of Europe to the banks which concluded an agreement regarding SEPA standard payments.

What is SEPA?

SEPA is a Single Euro Payment Area and it’s based on cooperation between different banking systems of European Union countries which use common rules. The settlement system for payments in EUR is dedicated to the financial institutions of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco and San Marino. You can make payments between banks that have concluded the contract for realizing payments within this system.

List of SEPA system users



Basic qualities of SEPA transfer:

  • Transactions in the EUR.
  • No maximum limit of transaction value.
  • Transaction is transferred in its full amount. The amount cannot be decreased by additional fees.
  • Shared cost option (SHA): costs are shared between both parties. This means that the sender covers a percentage of his or her bank and the remaining costs are covered by the recipient.
  • IBAN Only: according to this rule, payment services suppliers will not demand a BIC code (identifies payment services suppliers in international settlements) when initiating payments that meet the SEPA demands. A unique identifier of the Payment Recipient is his or her account number, which is presented in the IBAN format.



Comparison between SEPA and SWIFT

Currency EUR All currencies
Area EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino. Worldwide
Cost options SHA BEN – costs are covered by payment’s reciepient
OUR - costs are covered by payment’s sender
SHA – costs are shared by sender and recipient
Duration D+1 (money is transferred by the end of the following working day) D+3 (money is transferred up to three days after the transfer has been commissioned)
Established range of transfer costs 5-10 zł 40-200 zł
Costs of intermediary banks No costs Possible costs




SEPA’s purpose is to create a homogeneous payment services market. In this market, consumers and entrepreneurs are able to make payments easily, quickly, safely and at the same cheap cost as in the countries of their origin. SEPA impacts each payment in the EUR currency within the entire European Union. In this way, it contributes to the creation of a homogeneous market for payment services. This is an area in which citizens, entrepreneurs and other economic entities are able to make, as well as to receive, payments in the EUR in all of Europe (internationally, as well as in the membership countries) according to the same simple rules, legal regulations and obligations, regardless of citizenship status. The same is true of entrepreneurs.