What is SEPA?

The Single Euro Payments Area (or SEPA for short) is a European Union regulation that will simplify financial transactions and make doing business easier.

It applies 32 European countries, including Ireland, and will make it easier for you to transfer or receive funds.


  • Need for efficient pan-European retail payments market;
  • SEPA facilitates trade, fosters financial integration, completes monetary union;
  • SEPA is an important tool for strengthening EU competitiveness and growth.

Key Features of SEPA:

  • SEPA migration end date was 1 February 2014;
  • Existing national credit transfers (CT) and direct debits (DD) were replaced from that date by pan-European equivalents;(SDD & SCT)
  • Main direct changes:
    • National sort code and account number to BIC and IBAN;
    • Standardised formats for making payments;
  • Different process for handling direct debit mandates;
  • Enhanced consumer rights for direct debits.


  • Awareness is rising
    • But a long way to go on the detailed requirements
  • Limited change impact on consumers
    • But enhanced consumer rights with regard to Direct Debits.

Thank you to BPFI & Central Bank for the above information.