Making payments in euros within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)

Learn about your rights when you make credit transfers or pay direct debits in euros to an account in a SEPA country using a SEPA scheme, and find out what requirements banks and payment service providers must meet.

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) makes euro payments easier and cheaper, and means you can move money as freely throughout Europe as you can in the UK, for example, when online shopping. 

SEPA countries include the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) member states and some non-EEA jurisdictions such as the UK and Switzerland.

See the full list of SEPA countries.

Making payments

When you make a payment in euros using a SEPA scheme, you don't need to provide the Business Identifier Code (BIC) of the person or business you are paying. 

You can also tell your provider how they should deal with payment requests in euros from specific billers. 

For example, you can:

  • block direct debits from certain (or all) billers
  • ask your provider to only accept direct debits from certain billers
  • set maximum payment amounts 
  • specify acceptable payment intervals.

If your direct debit mandate doesn’t give you the right to a refund, you can ask your provider to check whether the amount and timing of each direct debit transaction is what you agreed.

Your options when things go wrong

If you have a SEPA or payment-related complaint about a provider (or branch) based in the UK, you should get in touch with the Financial Ombudsman Service:

If you are dealing with payment service providers (including branches of UK banks) based in another SEPA country, you may need to report your concerns to the competent authority in that country and refer any complaints to the appropriate body there.

Reporting to the FCA

If you believe that a business we regulate is not fulfilling its obligations relating to SEPA transactions, you should consider reporting it to us, along with details of the incident(s).

You can email your report to us at [email protected].

Page updates

19/03/2021: Information changed Page updates following Brexit.