About SEPA

The introduction of the euro as the common currency for millions of Europeans was a great advance in European integration, but it was just the first step towards European payments harmonisation.

Today it is remarkably easy to pay in euros with a single card and payment account when travelling, shopping online or transferring money to someone living in another European country. So easy that we sometimes forget it has not always been so. We have the Single Euro Payments Area ( ) project to thank.

About SEPA 1

An ongoing process

is a European Union ( ) initiative to which the European Payments Council greatly contributes as one representative of payment service providers (the is not part of the institutional framework). While migration to the Credit Transfer and Direct Debit schemes created by the is now complete, is still an ongoing process; other payment sectors such as mobile and online payments require further harmonisation.

Countries applying the SEPA schemes

Countries applying the schemes

The area in which the payment schemes (for euro credit transfers and direct debits) are available is broader than the European Union. The geographical scope of the schemes currently covers 36 countries and territories: the 27  Member States plus United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and Vatican City State/Holy See.

Read more about the list of SEPA scheme countries

SEPA timeline


If you want to learn in detail about the various milestones of the project, our timeline outlines all the actions that have contributed to the harmonisation of European payments since the 1999 introduction of the euro as the common currency of eleven countries. We regularly update this timeline with news of current and future steps that will further enhance payments integration. 

More about the SEPA milestones

SEPA goals and benefits

goals and benefits

was created to fully harmonise electronic euro payments to make it as easy and convenient for citizens and businesses to pay across Europe with one payment account and one card as it is in their home countries.

More about the objectives and advantages of SEPA

SEPA political, legal and regulatory framework

political, legal and regulatory framework

is driven by the institutions, in particular the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Find out more about the key legislation that has defined requirements for migration to , shaped the European payments landscape and now contributes to its further evolution.

More about the political drivers and legislative framework of SEPA


The makes logos available in all the languages of the countries.

Download the SEPA logos


SEPA logo