What is the “Single Euro Payments Area” (SEPA)?

The Single Euro Payments Area, commonly referred to as SEPA, is a European Union initiative that changes the way electronic payments in Euro are processed across the SEPA Zone countries. It simplifies the way we make and receive payments by using common technical standards and methods of payment across all participating countries.

The introduction of the euro has helped to make a cash payment anywhere in the euro area just as easy as at home. But until recently it was not so easy to pay for goods or services electronically in another euro area country, for example with your bank debit card – a means of payment favoured by many Europeans today. And when you wanted to transfer money from your home bank account to an account in another euro area country, the payment could take much longer, and sometimes the beneficiary did not get the full amount.

The Single Euro Payments Area (or “SEPA” for short) changed all this. It made all electronic payments in the euro area as easy as cash payments. You can make fast and secure transfers between bank accounts anywhere in the euro area. And if you are shopping abroad, you can also use your bank debit card to make a payment in euro, as you would in your home country.

It also means better banking services for all: transparent pricing, valuable guarantees ensuring that your payments are received promptly and in full, and banks assuming responsibility if something goes wrong with your payment.

What’s the SEPA idea?

In a working SEPA environment, you will no longer be obliged to maintain a bank account in any particular country for the purposes of making or receiving payments. An account anywhere in SEPA area can make or receive a euro electronic payment from any other account in SEPA area. For example, an Irish person working in France can have his French employer pay his salary directly to an Irish bank account and use that account to pay rent by direct debit for his or her apartment in France. Likewise, someone owning a holiday property in Spain could pay Spanish utility bills by direct debit from an Irish bank account, or alternatively just operate a bank account in Spain and use that account to pay Irish utility bills by direct debit.

What methods of payment are covered by SEPA?

SEPA covers all Electronic Payments:  Standing Orders, Direct Debits, Social Welfare payments, Salaries by Paypath and payments you make using CU Online or your bank’s Online Banking.

If you want to receive money by electronic transfer:

You need to give your International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) to whoever is going to pay you. National bank account and National Sort Code (NSC) schemes should have been abolished from February 2014, and only IBAN and BIC should be used going forward for national and cross-border payments.

If you want to pay money by electronic transfer:

You need to get International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) from whoever you are going to pay.

For transfers outside of the Republic of Ireland, each Financial Institution may require different information, so the best way is to get and provide all bank details: Bank name and address, account number, sort code, IBAN and BIC.

Where can I find my BIC and IBAN for my Link Credit Union account?

Your Link Credit Union BIC Code is : BIRUIE21XXX

You can find your IBAN and BIC of your Credit Union account on your account statement; mostly in the top of the statement, on your transaction slips; at the bottom, or you can contact our office and we will gladly provide you with these details.

If you are using our CU Online facility, your BIC and IBAN can be found by moving your mouse over the EFT Current Account ‘more info’ link in the Accounts screen.

SEPA Countries


Euro Countries


Austria Euro EUR
Belgium Euro EUR
Cyprus Euro EUR
Estonia Euro EUR
Finland Euro EUR
France Euro EUR
Germany Euro EUR
Greece Euro EUR
Ireland Euro EUR
Italy Euro EUR
Latvia Euro EUR
Luxembourg Euro EUR
Malta Euro EUR
Monaco Euro EUR
Netherlands Euro EUR
Portugal Euro EUR
San Marino Euro EUR
Slovakia Euro EUR
Slovenia Euro EUR
Spain Euro EUR


Other Currency Countries



Bulgaria Bulgarian Lev BGN
Croatia Croatian Kuna HRK
Czech Republic Czech Koruna CZK
Denmark Danish Krone DKK
Hungary Hungarian Forint HUF
Iceland Icelandic Krona ISK
Liechtenstein Swiss Franc CHF
Lithuania Lithuanian Litas LTL
Northern Ireland Pound Sterling GBP
Norway Norwegian Krone NOK
Poland Polish Zloty PLN
Romania Romanian Leu RON
Sweden Swedish Krona SEK
Switzerland Swiss Franc CHF
United Kingdom Pound Sterling GBP