SEPA Support

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Top FAQs

  • What is the aim of SEPA?

    The aim of SEPA is to create a single, integrated, standardised payments market across Europe. Individuals and businesses will be able to move money as easily, quickly, securely and efficiently cross-border as they can domestically today, under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations.

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  • What are the benefits of SEPA for consumers?

    SEPA aims to remove the technical, legal and commercial barriers to a single domestic payments market. SEPA provides numerous benefits for both consumers and businesses.

    SEPA will offer consumers greater choice of service, competition and flexibility to perform electronic euro banking transactions. Here is just a sample of the many consumer benefits that SEPA will provide:

    • All SEPA payments will be as easy and cost-effective as domestic payments are today
    • Pay by direct debit for services provided by companies throughout SEPA e.g. utility bills
    • Access to more detailed payment information for credit transfers and direct debit collections
    • Improved consumer entitlements and rights
    • Undertake all SEPA payments from one bank account

    For example, those working abroad will no longer need to hold one account at home and another in the country they work in. They will be able to complete all of their electronic transactions from their home account.

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  • What are BIC and IBAN, and where can I find them?

    An IBAN is an International Bank Account Number. It is unique to your account.

    A BIC is a Bank Identifier Code. It is unique to your Bank.

    The combination of your BIC and IBAN enable you to make and receive payments internationally or within Ireland.

    You can locate your BIC and IBAN by:

    1. Logging into 365 Online;
    2. Expanding the Alt text symbol on the homepage.

    You can also find both your BIC and IBAN on an eStatement/Paper Statement or you can also use our IBAN Calculator.

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  • What countries are included in SEPA?

    There are currently 34 members within the SEPA zone. It comprises the 28 EU states plus Norway, Iceland, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Monaco & Switzerland.

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  • What currencies are covered by SEPA?

    SEPA transactions are always executed in euro, where debtor and creditor accounts are registered with banks in one of the SEPA countries.

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  • Is SEPA mandatory?

    Yes. With the passing of the EU Regulation (260/2012) in February 2012, the move to SEPA standards will become mandatory for the current 33 SEPA countries. This means that if you are not ready for SEPA by 1st February 2014 in Ireland you will not be able to carry out electronic non-urgent euro transactions.

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  • What changes took place online as a result of SEPA?

    We introduced changes to 365 online in order to meet requirements set out under SEPA. As a result of these you will notice:

    • Domestic transfers are known as SEPA transfers;
    • Your domestic payees have been renamed SEPA payees with account details converted to BIC & IBAN;
    • BIC and an IBAN details are now required to set up a new payee or standing order;
    • An enhanced narrative text of up to 140 characters will now accompany certain SEPA payments & direct debits (where utilised);
    • Improved Direct Debit services are now available allowing you to manage your SEPA Direct Debits payments more effectively online.

    SEPA Direct Debit Services forms are available on the SEPA Direct Debit Services page on the Bank of Ireland website.

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  • I've read all information on the Bank of Ireland SEPA website; where can I go for further information?

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