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Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA)

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26 Dec. 2013

SEPA is a payment-integration initiative of the EU for simplification of bank transfers denominated in euro. SEPA consists of the 28 EU member states, the four members of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Monaco.

SEPA procedures will apply as of February 1, 2014 enabling customers to make cashless euro payments to anyone located anywhere in the area, using a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments:

  • SEPA clearance is based on the IBAN bank-account identification and the Swift-Bic bank identifier. Domestic transactions are also routed by IBAN.
  • Bank transfer charges are shared between sender and receiver. Charges of cross-border payments to other Member States shall be the same as the charges for corresponding national payments.
  • Direct debit returns: unauthorized or wrong direct debits can be returned within 13 months, and 8 months for authorized direct debits when the exact amount was not detailed.
  • Bank charges can be returned within 10 days.
  • The responsibility in case of payments made with a lost or stolen credit card will be a maximum of 150 euro.

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