The Single Euro Payment Area, or SEPA as is it commonly known, is a single payment area in the European Union (EU) that allows consumers and businesses to make cash payments across the EU as easily, safely, efficiently and inexpensively as it does within current national borders.
SEPA began with SEPA Credit Transfers, payments from one bank account to another. Payments made before the cut off deadline on a working day should be credited to the beneficiary account within one working day. SEPA Direct Debit for consumers is used for both domestic and cross-border collections in Euros throughout the SEPA region, and works in the same way as single or recurring domestic Direct Debit payments.
Some key differences:
- The scheme is only available to business customers
- The payer is not entitled to a refund for an authorised transaction
- There is a shorter timeframe for both presenting Direct Debits and processing returns.