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 www.ibancalculator.com 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.
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.
|Other Currency Countries
|Currency||Abbr.||Rate for 1 EUR||For 100 EUR
|Czech Republic||Czech Koruna||CZK||25.98||2,598|
|Northern Ireland / UK||Pound Sterling||GBP||0.85||85|
|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
|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|
- 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
|Bank of America||BOFAIE3X|
|Bank of Ireland||BOFIIE2D|
|Bank of Scotland||BOSIIE2D|
|Barclays Bank Ireland||BARCIE2D|
|Citibank Bank Europe||CITIIE2X|
|J.P. Morgan Bank||CHASIE2|
|KBC Bank Ireland||ICONIE2D|
|Nationwide UK Ireland||NUKIIE21|
|Realex Financial Services||CPAYIE2D|
|The Royal Bank of Scotland||ABNAIE2D|
|United Kingdom/Northern Ireland Banks||BIC|
|Abbey National / Santander||ABBYGB2L|
|Bank of Ireland||BOFIGB2B|
|Bank of Scotland||BOFSGBS1|
|National Westminster (NatWest) Bank||NWBKGB2L|
|Northern Bank T/A Danske Bank||DABAGB2B|
|The Co-Operative Bank||CPBKGB22|
|The Royal Bank of Scotland||RBOSGB2L|
Some large banks have different BIC code for each branch. You can check exact BIC code following below link.
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.