managing your accounts
single euro payments area

All about SEPA

An overview of SEPA

The Single Euro Payments Area, or SEPA, is an initiative to integrate standardized payments in euros within Europe, for both credit transfers and direct debits.

Since 2014-02-01, SEPA credit transfers and direct debits have replaced national equivalents for all euro-denominated payments, within and between the 34 European countries in SEPA.

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WHICH COUNTRIES ARE INCLUDED IN SEPA?

SEPA encompasses 34 European countries within which euro-denominated transfers and direct debits are processed under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations.

  • European Union countries part of the euro zone: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus (Greek part), Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain
  • European Union countries outside of the euro zone: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, UK
  • European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland
  • Principality of Monaco and San Marino

HOW DOES SEPA AFFECT YOUR CREDIT TRANSFERS?

To make a SEPA credit transfer, you no longer need the beneficiary's full bank account details, but simply their International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Business Identifier Code (BIC)(1). Your IBAN and BIC can be found on your bank statements or bank account details document.

There is nothing you need to do for beneficiaries that you have already saved, as their banking details are updated automatically.

Transfers to all SEPA countries are charged the same rate as transfers within France.

Transactions on your bank statement now include more information than previous domestic transfers, including the SEPA designation.

You can easily make individual or favorite transfers, or set up standing orders(2) between two accounts within SEPA by logging into your secure customer account at mabanque.bnpparibas.

(1) Use of the BIC number has been optional for transactions within France since 2014-02-01 and will be for cross-border transactions starting on 2016-02-01.
(2) Only euro-denominated accounts held in France or Monaco.

CONSULT THE VIDEO TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE A TRANSFER (IN FRENCH)

HOW DOES SEPA AFFECT YOUR DIRECT DEBITS?

WHAT CHANGES FOR YOU:

In accordance with the current legal provisions, the document that you signed in France authorizing a direct debit is valid for SEPA direct debits(1) as well as any previously recorded stop payment orders.

Creditors must provide you with the following information:

  • The Unique Mandate Reference (UMR)
  • The SEPA Creditor ID
  • The payment date of the first direct debit issued under SEPA format
  • The amount (if fixed)
  • Their contact information in the event a claim is made concerning a SEPA direct debit and in the event that you modify or revoke your mandate. It is advised that you conserve a copy of your mandate for your own records

If you are the victim of a non-authorized direct debit, you can always contest the payment.

Review the procedures for stopping payment on a direct debit.

In an effort to prevent non-authorized direct debits, as of 2014-02-01, you can inform your bank of the direct debits that you authorize and those that you refuse.

View our guide on SEPA direct debits.

(1) The authorization that you signed in France for direct debiting is valid for SEPA direct debits, in accordance with Article 19 of Order 2009-866 from 2009-07-15, relative to the continuity of direct debit authorizations.

HOW DOES SEPA AFFECT YOUR CARD PAYMENTS?

Under the SEPA initiative, individuals and businesses can securely pay for their purchases or withdraw cash with a debit or credit card, under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations.

Cards issued by BNP Paribas conform to SEPA standards, allowing payments to be made with the use of a PIN code in the 34 countries part of SEPA.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SEPA

View our online brochure to find out all the details about SEPA.

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