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SEPA

Are you ready for SEPA. Find out more about what Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) means for you

SEPA or the Single Euro Payments Area is an EU Regulation aimed at standardising euro denominated electronic payments across Europe. There are 34 countries in the SEPA zone and the legislation comes into full effect on the 1st February 2014. SEPA payments must be at the same cost as domestic payments which may mean cost savings for businesses that process payments across SEPA. And for a personal banking customer it will means that a payment from Dublin to Dundalk will now cost the same as a payment from Dublin to Dusseldorf.

What is the SEPA Zone?

There are 34 countries in the SEPA zone. These are the existing 28 European Union member states, (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.

Here are some of the changes that SEPA will bring to Ulster Bank customers.

  • From 1st February 2014 your existing National Sort Code (NSC) and Account Number will be replaced by BIC (Bank Identifier Code) and IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
  • So each Bank will have its own BIC and your Bank Account will have its own unique IBAN. You can find your BIC and IBAN on your bank statement or on your online banking service.
  • Personal customers and business customers can transfer or receive payments in euro across the SEPA at the same cost as a domestic payment.
  • SEPA allows payers the right to a "no questions asked" refund for authorised SEPA Direct Debit payments where it is requested within 8 weeks from the date the amount was debited from their account.

How SEPA affects our Personal Customers

  • From 1st February 2014 your existing National Sort Code (NSC) and Account Number will be replaced by BIC (Bank Identifier Code) and IBAN (International Bank Account Number). So each Bank will have its own BIC and your Bank Account will have its own unique IBAN.
  • If you have an existing Direct Debit, Standing Order or Credit Transfer in place, Ulster Bank will convert that to a SEPA format for you.
  • From 1st February 2014 you will need your BIC and IBAN when completing new Direct Debits.
  • If you are receiving a new payment from another person or business (such as a salary payment, or social welfare) they may need your BIC and IBAN so its important that you can locate it.
  • As SEPA only affects electronic payments, cheques and drafts are also unaffected.
  • SEPA allows payers the right to a “no questions asked” refund for authorised SEPA Direct Debit payments where it is requested within 8 weeks from the date the amount was debited from their account.
  • While Ulster Bank migrates to SEPA, you can continue to use your National Sort Code (NSC) and Account Number when setting up new Credit Transfers/Standing Orders from your Ulster Bank account. We will advise you well in advance when you will need to begin using your BIC and IBAN when setting up new credit transfer payments or standing orders.
  • You can find your BIC and IBAN on:

    • Your Bank Statement
    • Anytime Online Banking
    • Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) conversion tool
  • Although the SEPA legislation doesn’t come into full effect until 1st February 2014 some businesses may begin asking for your BIC and IBAN before that date so it is important to know where to find them.

If you want to know more about SEPA such as the new rights for consumers who pay by Direct Debit, you can find out more here.

How SEPA affects our Business Customers

  • From 1st February 2014 your existing National Sort Code (NSC) and Account Number will be replaced by BIC (Bank Identifier Code) and IBAN (International Bank Account Number). So each Bank will have its own BIC and your Bank Account will have its own unique IBAN.
  • It is a requirement in SEPA that bulk payment files are submitted for payment processing in the ISO 20022 XML standard format. This is an internationally agreed standard and is mandatory under the regulations.
  • Direct Debit Mandate Management becomes the responsibility of the Creditor, (a business who collects funds by Direct Debit) and a business that collects funds by Direct Debit will need to change their current Direct Debit Mandate to the new SEPA standard which is available in the SEPA Direct Debit Core Scheme Guide. You will need to use this new SEPA Direct Debit Mandate when collecting payment details from new customers.
  • A full list of the changes, rights and responsibilities for Direct Debit Originators is available in the SEPA Direct Debit Core Scheme Guide which you can download here (URL http://www.ipso.ie/section/SEPACreditorsGuide). We would ask that any business customers who receive payment by Direct Debit to download the guide and familiarise themselves with the changes SEPA will bring.

A full list of the changes, rights and responsibilities for Direct Debit Originators is available in the SEPA Direct Debit Core Scheme Guide which you can download here. We would ask that any business customers who receive payment by Direct Debit to download the guide and familiarise themselves with the changes SEPA will bring.

Personal Customers

Are you a personal customer looking for your BIC and IBAN?

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Business Customers

Are you a business customer planning for your change to SEPA or looking for your BIC & IBAN?

Find Out More