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What is a SEPA payment? The difference between SEPA and SEPA Instant

SEPA payment

In everyday language and when talking to clients, we explain SEPA payment as a regular euro transfer and SEPA Instant – as an urgent euro transfer. But really, what is a SEPA payment? And how does it differ from SEPA Instant?

What is SEPA?

SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) – a transfer standard used within the European Union and a few more countries that aren't part of it. In this area, transfers in euros are done in the same conditions within the country and outside – to another country that is a member of SEPA.

SEPA countries 2021

At the moment (2021, January) – SEPA consists of 36 European countries (27 EU + 3 European Economic Area (EEA) countries – Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein + 6 non-EEA countries – The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Vatican City, Monaco, San Marino, and Andorra). In this list are also territories that belong to the listed countries.

What is a SEPA payment?

SEPA payment – a money transfer from one SEPA country to another. A SEPA payment is done to the recipient’s IBAN number. The arrival of SEPA transfers lowered the prices of sending euros across borders, made it faster, and more convenient for the users.

What is a SEPA Instant payment?

SEPA Instant (also called SEPA Instant Credit Transfers or SCT Inst) – instant transfers in euros that are executed 24/7/365 and reach the recipient within seconds.

Who can I send a SEPA Instant transfer to?

SEPA Instant payment is executed only if both the sender and receiver banks are connected to the SEPA Instant scheme.

At the moment almost 3000 banks from 23 countries are part of the SEPA Instant scheme, and in the future, this list intends to expand to connect all banks in all 36 SEPA countries, and thereby remove geographical borders for payments within Europe.

Differences between SEPA and SEPA Instant

  SEPA SEPA Instant
Transfer time Up to 1 working day Instantly (around 10 sec)
Price * FREE for private
0,29 EUR for business
FREE for private
0,29 EUR for business
Days when transfers are executed I-V, 8 AM - 8 PM (only working days) UTC+3 24/7/365
Transfer limits - 100,000 EUR
Where are transfers executed? Among all banks in SEPA countries (36 countries) Among banks that are part of SEPA Instant scheme (23 countries)

* Prices in the table are those for Paysera clients. Prices in other banks may differ.

How to make a SEPA or SEPA Instant payment from a Paysera account?


SEPA payment

If your country and the recipient's country are in the SEPA area – transfer will automatically be a SEPA transfer and you will not need to take any extra actions.

SEPA Instant payment

After filling out the transfer form – check if the transfer is marked as Urgent. If the recipient’s bank is part of SEPA Instant – you will see that the payment will be executed within seconds and for free (if you are a private client). If the recipient's bank is not part of SEPA Instant – you will not see the Urgent option.

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