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Tatra banka

22.6.2018 11:26


SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) markedly affects
all payment system participants.

  • removes barriers and differences between domestic payments
    and foreign payments in the SEPA area

FAQ about SEPA

About SEPA

About SEPA

What is SEPA?

The aim of the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) is to remove differences upon the execution of domestic payment s and cross-border payments in EUR within the territory of the European Union and the European Economic Area. Consumers, enterprises, vendors and public sector are able to make payments and collections in EUR in this area as simply, fast and cheap as domestic payments. Since 1 February 2014 all domestic payments in EUR have become SEPA payments.

Which payment instruments does SEPA harmonise?

SEPA payments (SEPA Credit Transfer)
SEPA collections (SEPA Direct Debit)
SEPA payment cards (SEPA Cards Framework)
SEPA cash (SEPA for Cash)
SEPA for mobile payments (SEPA for mobile)

SEPA area


List of countries covered by SEPA:

Euro currency countries in the EU
Belgium Luxemburg
Cyprus Malta
Estonia Netherlands
Finland Portugal
France Slovenia
Germany Slovakia
Greece Spain
Non-euro currency countries of the EU
Bulgaria Latvia
Czech Republic
Denmark Romania
Hungary  United Kingdom
The EEA countries outside the EU
Iceland Norway
Countries outside the EEA
Monaco Switzerland
San Marino  


SEPA distinctly affects all payment system participants. It increases the competition and brings along new opportunities and challenges; removes barriers and differences between domestic payments and foreign payments in the SEPA area.

What are SEPA contributions?


  • Bank connection: IBAN (International Bank Account Number) becomes the only account and bank identifier for SEPA payments. It will gradually replace in full extent domestic bank connection (BBAN) and bank code (bank BIC/SWIFT code).
  • One account only: Only one bank account for sending or receiving euro payments within the SEPA area as simply as with domestic payments will be sufficient for citizens and enterprises from the SEPA countries.
  • Simple payment processing: As all incoming and outgoing payments have equal format, their processing is simpler (universal message standards, ISO 20022).
  • Innovative products and services: Banks from SEPA countries continuously develop and use innovative products and services linked especially to electronic environment.
  • Faster process of payment clearing: Payment beneficiary is credited the payment on the next working day after the payer´s bank received the payment order.
  • More effective utilisation of payment cards: As payment cards are universal payment means used for execution of payments via payment terminals wherever in the SEPA area, utilisation thereof is even more effective.
  • More effective provision of cross-border services in the field of cash payment system in SEPA countries.
  • Implementation of the system that enables receiving and sending payments by means of a mobile telephone within SEPA.
SEPA payments

SEPA payments

What is a SEPA payment?

SEPA payment is a euro cashless payment within the SEPA area. A payment order is submitted by the payer. SEPA payments are credited to accounts of beneficiaries on the next banking working day after being debited from accounts of payers (D+1).


What changes does SEPA payment bring?

: So-called IBAN (International Bank Account Number), which has gradually fully replaced the domestic account number (BBAN) is used for purposes of unambiguous identification of a payment account.

  • As of 1 February 2014 until 31 January 2016 it was already possible to specify IBAN and BBAN with payments within the territory of the SR.  IBAN is the mandatory form of the account number with payments directed outside the SR and within the SEPA.
  • IBAN is the only account number identifier in all SEPA countries, i.e. also within the territory of the SR as of 1 February 2016ô

BIC: So-called BIC (Bank Identifier Code) is used for purposes of unambiguous identification of the bank which maintains the recipient´s/payer´s account. With regard to the fact that IBAN also contains data about the recipient´s/payer´s bank, BIC is not mandatory data for payment orders within the SEPA area. It remains mandatory only in the foreign payment system.

The field “Payer Reference” can be used by the payer for a more detailed payment identification. This purpose is currently fulfilled by payment symbols (variable, specific and constant symbol). Banks in the SR decided to continue with utilisation of payment systems in terms of gradual transfer to SEPA standards. The symbols are transferred in the field “Payer Reference” under the arranged rules. Example of payer reference: /VS1234567890/SS9876543210/KS1234."

The “Payer Reference” field in a foreign SEPA payment:
1. May not contain the symbol “ / “ on the first or last position
2. May not contain “ // “ (two slash symbols in a row)
New XML format based on ISO20022 standard was added for import of payment orders and export of electronic statements.

SEPA direct debits

SEPA direct debits

What is a SEPA direct debit?


SEPA direct debit is a cashless payment executed in euro within the SEPA area. The payment order is submitted by the payment beneficiary. The payer grants their consent to the direct debit, i.e. mandate, directly to the payment beneficiary.


What changes does SEPA direct debit bring?


  • SEPA direct debit mandate is a paper or electronic consent of the payer to debit their account by means of a SEPA direct debit. The payer grants a mandate directly to the SEPA direct debit recipient. The direct debit recipient is obligated to archive the mandate.
  • Submitting payment orders for SEPA direct debit: the initial format for sending collection advices (HD32) was replaced with a new XML standard according to the ISO20022 standard. The bank provides Multicash electronic system for sending payment orders for SEPA direct debit.
  • Collection repetition terminated in case of insufficient coverage in the payer´s account.

More about SEPA collection

Payment cards

Payment cards

What is a SEPA payment card?

SEPA payment card is a universal card that is usable and accepted equally in all SEPA area countries, e.g. VISA cards or MasterCards.

What are the main features of SEPA payment cards?

  • EMV (Europay, MasterCard, VISA) standard for payment cards and payment terminals,
  • Recommended technology CHIP&PIN.

Tatra banka currently issues only chip debit payment cards.

What are the contributions of SEPA payment cards?

  • availability within the entire SEPA area,
  • security - payment cards have an integrated chip that stores payment card data in the safest way. PIN code is preferentially used for card holder identification upon a card payment.