SEPA Payments, IBAN and BIC

SEPA area map


SEPA means The Single Euro Payments Area. SEPA is a payment initiative of the European Union to improve and simplify bank transfers in Euro currency in SEPA area.

Bank charges for SEPA payments should be the same as the charges for national payments.

Payments in currencies other than the euro and to/from non-SEPA countries may still attract foreign exchange charges and/or higher transaction fees.

What you need to do now

If you want to receive money by electronic transfer, you need to give your International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) to whoever is going to pay you. National bank account and National Sort Code (NSC) schemes should have been abolished from February 2014, and only IBAN and BIC should be used going forward for national and cross-border payments.

If you want to pay money by electronic transfer, you need to get International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) from whoever you are going to pay.

Each bank may require different information, so the best way is to get and provide all bank details: Bank name and address, account number, sort code, IBAN and BIC.

You can find your IBAN and BIC of your bank account on your bank account statement; mostly in the top of the statement.

If you can’t find IBAN and BIC, you can use some tools as follows:

IPSO has a facility which will convert an Irish sort code (NSC) and account number to the equivalent BIC and IBAN. This facility is accessible here.

I found this website very useful, mainly for IBAN validation, because from correct IBAN, the website can give you even bank name, address, swift/bic code etc. There is more functionality on the website IBAN calculation and Swift/BIC search.

Direct Debits

If you have currently direct debit in place with your bank for regular payments such as utility bills or mortgage repayments, the existing direct debit mandates will remain valid in the SEPA. You do not have to take any specific action. You will need to provide the IBAN and BIC, when you want to set up new direct debit mandate.

Irish Revenue – Tax Payments or Refunds

If you have provided your bank account details to Revenue before 2nd December 2013, Revenue have already automatically converted your account details to the new format.
You will need to provide the IBAN and BIC, when you give new Irish bank account details to Revenue for tax payments or refunds.

SEPA Countries

Euro Countries
Currency Abbr.
Austria Euro EUR
Belgium Euro EUR
Cyprus Euro EUR
Estonia Euro EUR
Finland Euro EUR
France Euro EUR
Germany Euro EUR
Greece Euro EUR
Ireland Euro EUR
Italy Euro EUR
Latvia Euro EUR
Luxembourg Euro EUR
Malta Euro EUR
Monaco Euro EUR
Netherlands Euro EUR
Portugal Euro EUR
San Marino Euro EUR
Slovakia Euro EUR
Slovenia Euro EUR
Spain Euro EUR
Other Currency Countries
Currency Abbr. Rate for 1 EUR For 100 EUR
you get
Bulgaria Bulgarian Lev BGN 1.96 196
Croatia Croatian Kuna HRK 7.58 758
Czech Republic Czech Koruna CZK 25.98 2,598
Denmark Danish Krone DKK 7.46 746
Hungary Hungarian Forint HUF 296.87 29,687
Iceland Icelandic Krona ISK 155.55 15,555
Liechtenstein Swiss Franc CHF 1.23 123
Lithuania Lithuanian Litas LTL 3.45 345
Northern Ireland / UK Pound Sterling GBP 0.85 85
Norway Norwegian Krone NOK 7.81 781
Poland Polish Zloty PLN 4.20 420
Romania Romanian Leu RON 4.42 442
Sweden Swedish Krona SEK 8.65 865
Switzerland Swiss Franc CHF 1.23 123
United Kingdom Pound Sterling GBP 0.85 85


The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an internationally agreed means of identifying bank accounts across national borders with a reduced risk of transcription errors.

Initially developed for making payments within the European Union. It has been implemented by most European countries and many countries in the developing world, especially in the Middle East and in the Caribbean.

The IBAN should not contain spaces when transmitted electronically: when printed it is expressed in groups of four characters separated by a single space.

List of IBAN formats for SEPA countries

Country IBAN Format Chars
Austria ATkk bbbb bccc cccc cccc 20
Belgium BEkk bbbc cccc ccxx 16
Bulgaria BGkk bbbb ssss ddcc cccc cc 22
Croatia HRkk bbbb bbbc cccc cccc c 21
Cyprus CYkk bbbs ssss cccc cccc cccc cccc 28
Czech Republic CZkk bbbb ssss sscc cccc cccc 24
Denmark DKkk bbbb cccc cccc cc 18
Estonia EEkk bbss cccc cccc cccx 20
Finland FIkk bbbb bbcc cccc cx 18
France FRkk bbbb bggg ggcc cccc cccc cxx 27
Germany DEkk bbbb bbbb cccc cccc cc 22
Greece GRkk bbbs sssc cccc cccc cccc ccc 27
Hungary HUkk bbbs sssk cccc cccc cccc cccx 28
Iceland ISkk bbbb sscc cccc iiii iiii ii 26
Ireland IEkk aaaa bbbb bbcc cccc cc 22
Italy ITkk xaaa aabb bbbc cccc cccc ccc 27
Latvia LVkk bbbb cccc cccc cccc c 21
Liechtenstein LIkk bbbb bccc cccc cccc c 21
Lithuania LTkk bbbb bccc cccc cccc 20
Luxembourg LUkk bbbc cccc cccc cccc 20
Malta MTkk bbbb ssss sccc cccc cccc cccc ccc 31
Monaco MCkk bbbb bsss sscc cccc cccc cxx 27
Netherlands NLkk bbbb cccc cccc cc 18
Norway NOkk bbbb cccc ccx 15
Poland PLkk bbbs sssx cccc cccc cccc cccc 28
Portugal PTkk bbbb ssss cccc cccc cccx x 25
Romania ROkk bbbb cccc cccc cccc cccc 24
San Marino SMkk xaaa aabb bbbc cccc cccc ccc 27
Slovakia SKkk bbbb ssss sscc cccc cccc 24
Slovenia SIkk bbss sccc cccc cxx 19
Spain ESkk bbbb gggg xxcc cccc cccc 24
Sweden SEkk bbbc cccc cccc cccc cccx 24
Switzerland CHkk bbbb bccc cccc cccc c 21
United Kingdom / Northern Ireland GBkk bbbb ssss sscc cccc cc 22

Letters meaning:

  • a = National bank code
  • b = National bank code
  • c = Account number
  • d = Account type
  • kk = IBAN checksum – The checksum enable the sending bank to perform a check of the routing destination and account number. This check detect any mistakes where a single character has been omitted, duplicated, mistyped or where two characters have been transposed. So routing and account number errors are eliminated.
  • n = Numeric character
  • s = Branch code
  • x = National check digit



A BIC (Bank Identifier Code) is the SWIFT Address assigned to a bank. It uniquely identifies the bank name and country, and sometimes the branch. BICs are often called SWIFT Codes and can be either 8 or 11 characters long.

List of most common BIC codes

Irish Banks BIC
Bank of America BOFAIE3X
Bank of Ireland BOFIIE2D
Bank of Scotland BOSIIE2D
Barclays Bank Ireland BARCIE2D
Citibank Bank Europe CITIIE2X
Danske Bank DABAIE2D
First Trust FTBKGB2B
J.P. Morgan Bank CHASIE2
KBC Bank Ireland ICONIE2D
Nationwide UK Ireland NUKIIE21
Permanent TSB IPBSIE2D
Rabobank International RABIIE2D
Realex Financial Services CPAYIE2D
The Royal Bank of Scotland ABNAIE2D
Ulster Bank ULSBIE2D
United Kingdom/Northern Ireland Banks BIC
Abbey National / Santander ABBYGB2L
Bank of Ireland BOFIGB2B
Bank of Scotland BOFSGBS1
Barclays Bank BARCGB22
Citibank CITIGB2L
First Trust FTBKGB2B
Halifax HLFXGB21
Lloyds Bank LOYDGB21
National Westminster (NatWest) Bank NWBKGB2L
Nordea Bank NDEAGB2L
Northern Bank T/A Danske Bank DABAGB2B
The Co-Operative Bank CPBKGB22
The Royal Bank of Scotland RBOSGB2L
Ulster Bank ULSBGB2B

Some large banks have different BIC code for each branch. You can check exact BIC code following below link.

Huge database of BIC codes click here.

What’s the SEPA idea?

In a working SEPA environment, you will no longer be obliged to maintain a bank account in any particular country for the purposes of making or receiving payments. An account anywhere in SEPA area can make or receive a euro electronic payment from any other account in SEPA area. For example, an Irish person working in France can have his French employer pay his salary directly to an Irish bank account and use that account to pay rent by direct debit for his or her apartment in France. Likewise, someone owning a holiday property in Spain could pay Spanish utility bills by direct debit from an Irish bank account, or alternatively just operate a bank account in Spain and use that account to pay Irish utility bills by direct debit.