WHAT IS SEPA?
SEPA is an acronym for Single Euro Payments Area.
SEPA is a joint integrated European payment service for sending and accepting bank transfers de-nominated in Euro within the territory of the European Economic Area with applying common financial schemes, standards and procedures.
SEPA consists of member states of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association and other European countries (List of SEPA Scheme Countries: http://www.europeanpaymentscouncil.eu/index.cfm/knowledge-bank/epc-documents/epc-list-of-sepa-scheme-countries/ )
HOW DOES SEPA TRANSFER DIFFER FROM THE STANDARD FOREIGN CURRENCY TRANSFER?
SEPA transfer is a standard transfer scheme – created for EUR payments - with determined data content standards for SEPA countries,
- In case of SEPA transfer, if the transfer order is directed to an EEA member state, the amount of the transfer order will be credited to the account of the beneficiary’s payment service provider at the latest by the end of the next business day following the day of receipt of the payment order;
- International Bank Account Number (IBAN) shall be used;
- The payer and also the payee (beneficiary) shall bear only the costs of their own payment service provider, so the method of cost bearing can be only shared – SHA - (It cannot be neither BEN, nor OUR);
- The commission fee cannot be deducted from the amount of the order, so the total amount shall be initiated and credited to the account of the beneficiary.
IN WHICH CASES CAN SEPA PAYMENT METHOD BE USED?
If the payer initiates a foreign currency interbank transfer and all of the following conditions are met:
- Denomination of payment transfer is EUR;
- The IBAN of the payee shall be indicated as account number (internet access to IBAN calculator e.g. www.ibancalculator.com);
- Cost bearing method: “SHA” (that is shared), so both parties bear their own bank’s costs;
- The payment service provider of the payee is also direct or indirect SEPA member bank;
- The transfer was not submitted with urgent execution (urgent payment order).
IN WHICH CASES IS IT MANDATORY TO USE SEPA TRANSFER?
Following October 31, 2016, the Bank can executes EUR denominated payment orders (except: intra-bank and urgent transfers) within the EU - including Hungary - only as SEPA transfers. Therefore, these types of transfers shall meet the requirements determined in the above. In case the client did not choose the „SHA” cost bearing method, but the order otherwise meets the requirements of the SEPA transfer order, the Bank will not reject the order, but it will executes it in accordance with legal requirements – with SHA cost bearing.
WHAT KIND OF FORM SHALL BE FILLED IN IN CASE OF SEPA TRANSFER ORDER?
Form regarding foreign currency payment order shall be filled in, so the same form shall be used as in case of other foreign currency transfer orders.
IN WHICH MENU ITEM CAN THE SEPA TRANSFER ORDER BE RECORDED VIA ELECTRONIC CHANNELS?
There is no special, differentiated menu item for SEPA transfers in none of the electronic channels. SEPA transfer order can be recorded in the International payment order screen. Based on the data of the submitted order, the Bank determines that in what kind of clearing system it will be forwarded. Detailed information on the method of recording (with screens) is available on our website.
THE INTERNATIONAL BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER (IBAN)
IBAN is an acronym for International Bank Account Number. Its length and structure vary by country (according to the Hungarian standards, it consists of 28 characters), but in every case it starts with the two-character code of the particular country. In European Union the introduction of IBAN was made step by step in order to unify the transactions made by single payment instrument from 1999. Hungary joined the countries applying IBAN on January 1, 2003, from this date Hungarian payment service providers are bounded to introduce IBANs and their checking.
APPLICATION OF IBAN
In addition to EEA countries, other countries - not just European countries - use IBAN as well. The application of IBAN facilitates the automation of cross-border payment transaction processing.
Although the mandatory use of IBAN is prescribed only in case of SEPA transfers, it is strongly recommended to use it in every case when it is possible.
Regardless of the target country of the transfer, if the transfer partner has an IBAN, that number shall be given. If you transfer to a country, where IBAN is used, but the beneficiary’s account number was not entered in IBAN format, the bank of the beneficiary either can reject the execution of the order or may charge a premium for the execution of the transfer which will be passed onto the payee.
WHAT DOES IBAN-ONLY STAND FOR?
Following October 31, 2016, the use of the international bank account number (IBAN) is sufficient and mandatory, the indication of the BIC (SWIFT) code of beneficiary's bank is not necessary in case of EUR denominated SEPA foreign currency transfer orders.
WHAT KIND OF CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED BY THE BANK IN CASE OF SEPA TRANS-FERS?
Bank certificate is issued by the Bank. SEPA transfers are obligatorily forwarded XML file format, therefore, after October 31, 2016; the Bank will be unable to provide SWIFT copy about these transfers. Fee for the issuance of bank certificate is indicated in chapter Account keeping services of the related list of conditions.
WITH WHAT VALUE DATE IS THE SEPA TRASFER ORDER FULFILLED?
SEPA transfer orders directed to an EEA member state, not requiring conversion is debited from the payer’s account and is also credited to the account of the beneficiary’s payment service provider on the business day following the date of receipt.
EUR URGENT PAYMENT WITHIN THE EEA
In case of EUR denominated transfer orders directed to an EEA member state is processed in the TARGET2 system. The order not requiring conversion is to be credited on the beneficiary’s account on the day of receipt, if the order is taken over and accepted before the respecting deadline. In case the urgent payment order is handed over after deadline it will be rejected by the Bank. The urgent fulfilment is based on an individual decision.
INDIVIDUAL, BUNDLED SEPA PAYMENT ORDERS TRANSMISSION IN MESSAGE FORMAT ISO 20022 STANDARD
After October 31, 2016, in case of corporate clients which are larger than micro enterprises, if they request, they will have the possibility to upload SEPA transfer orders in UNIFI ISO 20022 XML format. Please, contact your RM for further technical details.
IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FEES COUNTED FOR SEPA AND OTHER KIND OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRANSFER?
The Bank charges the same fee for SEPA and other kind of foreign exchange transfer. The fee on external foreign exchange transfer is to be applied depending on channel as indicated in chapter Financial services of the relevant list of conditions.