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European payment or SEPA payment

In order to provide all citizens of European Union Member States with the same opportunities for making euro payments, it was decided that by 1 February 2014, at the latest, all euro payments must be switched to single payment standards and meet the same technical requirements.

Until 1 February 2014, interbank payments between Estonian banks were made via a system managed by the Bank of Estonia, and payments to Europe are made via Europe-wide settlement systems.

As of 1 February 2014, domestic and cross-border euro payments, i.e. payments to other Estonian banks, are made via the Europe-wide settlement system and uniform so-called SEPA requirements are applied to them. ESTA, a system managed by the Bank of Estonia, were closed on 31 January 2014.

From 1 February 2014, domestic and cross-border euro payments shall be referred to with a common name European payment and, in addition to European Union Member States, these payments can also be made to banks in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and Monaco.

What changed

The main difference between the current retail payment and euro payment (SEPA) system is the transaction speed. In Estonia, previously domestic interbank payments have been made on settlement dates every hour from 9-18. According to the European payment standard, the money reaches the payee’s account by the next settlement date at the latest and this applies everywhere in Europe.

The current ten settlement cycles have been replaced with five settlement cycles, meaning that money will arrive from the payer’s bank to the payee’s bank in a period of three to five hours, instead of the current 1.5 hours.

Should you have any questions, please contact your company’s client executive, call Customer Support at 665 5100, or write to .

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