Increasingly mobile European citizens, such as workers, students, and holiday home owners and renters, enjoy the simplicity of harmonised euro credit transfers in 36 European countries.
The SCT scheme is also good for trade within SEPA, as businesses can be paid by a customer located in another SEPA country as easily and rapidly as if this customer were located in their own country.
The vast majority of euro credit transfers in SEPA — more than 20 billion every year — are based on the EPC SCT scheme. This means that the rules for making euro credit transfers in Europe are exactly the same whether the money is moved between two accounts located in the same country or in two different SEPA countries. In an increasingly digital world, SEPA euro credit transfers have become a very common way to pay.
The SCT scheme can be used for payments in euro in 36 SEPA scheme countries. The payment service providers (PSPs) executing the credit transfer must formally participate in the SCT scheme.
SCT transactions can be one-off or recurring payments (for example, a standing order to pay the monthly rent of an apartment or to regularly transfer money to a savings account), therefore saving time for the payer. Likewise, single or bulk payments (such as one debit from the payer’s account with multiple credits to different beneficiaries, like a pay roll) are supported, which is highly convenient for companies.
- The SCT scheme is based on straight-through-processing, which facilitates the payment initiation, processing and reconciliation.
- Payments are made for the full original amount – there are no deductions. A customer involved in a credit transfer can only be charged by their own PSP.
- The payer can mention up to 140 characters of remittance information. These 140 characters can be unstructured (free text) or structured; they enable the beneficiary to understand why they have received the funds. This information further helps to reconcile the incoming funds with invoice-related information.
- The SCT scheme defines standard formats for rejects and returns for unsuccessfully processed SCT transactions, which allows an automated handling of rejects and returns.
- Specific data elements indicating the initiation and receipt of ‘on behalf of’ transactions allow payees to outsource their daily payment processing to other service providers.