Growing Business with Single Euro Payments Area

SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) Credit Transfer, or SCT, is a new payment scheme that makes it easier for businesses to make cashless payments throughout Europe, as 33 countries are included in the SEPA zone.

Companies across the zone are required to register to formally participate in the SCT scheme, and many have already discovered SEPA Transfer brings a number of benefits which helps their business to grow. So what exactly are these benefits?

Growing your business

SEPA Credit Transfer is as easy to carry out as a domestic payment, making business transactions throughout Europe simpler and more efficient. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • SCT allows companies to enter new European markets, simplifying the process of making and receiving payments in Euros
  • The agreed time-frame for payments means businesses can guarantee funds will be available in the payee’s account next day
  • A narrative of up to 140 characters means that identifying payments is easier, whilst data fields specify payment types such as taxes or salaries
  • Payment Service Providers (PSPs) issuing SCT can easily recall duplicate transactions or those made in error
  • It’s easier for businesses to manage their cash as incoming payments are automatically reconciled with outstanding company invoices
  • SCT reduces costs and improves cash visibility as there is no longer the need to have a number of bank accounts in different countries across Europe, thereby reducing risk 
  • The scheme enables direct debits to be collected from anywhere in the SEPA, so attracting international customers is easier
  • Forecasting company cash flow and managing liquidity is simpler and more efficient; with guaranteed next-day settlement it’s easier to reduce company bank debt


SEPA Credit Transfer enables customers to make cashless Euro payments to anyone in the SEPA zone using their bank account, and provides a number of benefits to businesses currently trading in Europe or considering trading in the European Union.

The 33 SEPA-zone countries are:

  • Non-Eurozone countries in European Union: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, UK
  • Eurozone countries in the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain
  • EEA (European Economic Area) members: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway
  • Additional countries: Monaco and Switzerland.

This means that SEPA affects around 500 million consumers, so businesses not already taking advantage of the scheme are missing out! In order to use the scheme, companies must be SEPA ready; this means complying with SEPA’s core provisions. The deadline for banks and corporates was 1st February 2014 but has since been extended – and non-euro countries have until 31st October 2016 to make the necessary changes.