Information about Sepa payments

Euro Accounts?


Map of Europe

If you have euro accounts in countries in which the euro is the official currency, you will be affected by SEPA regulations from 1 February 2014. On this date, these countries’ local money transmission services are joined in a common European infrastructure. In DNB, we are happy to provide you with information through seminars and other information measures with regard to SEPA. Please contact us if you have any questions.

How do these changes affect you?

From 1 February 2014 the following rules apply to euro money transfers between accounts in countries in which the euro is the official currency:

  • Files: File payments in euros between accounts in the eurozone must be sent using the ISO 20022 XML format. Banks are not allowed to accept other formats.
  • XML: File conversion from other formats to XML prior to forwarding to the bank will still be allowed. There are suppliers who offer to perform this conversion, so businesses unable to generate files in ISO 20022 XML can pay for this service.
  • IBAN: If you register payments online in DNB Connect, you can no longer use local account numbers for domestic payments in the eurozone, you must use IBAN. Your supplier register must therefore be updated your with IBAN.
  • Local debits (SEPA Direct Debits): If you use local direct debits in a eurozone country, you must switch to SEPA’s all-European solution. In DNB’s case, this applies first and foremost to Germany. In Finland and Estonia the corresponding services will instead be converted to e-invoice.
  • From 31 October 2016 the requirements will also apply to euro payments in SEPA countries in which the euro is not the official currency, such as Norway. This will have limited practical significance as IBAN is already used for euro payments in Norway and other SEPA countries outside the eurozone. It is yet to be established how the requirement of sending files in ISO 20022 XML format will be put into practice for files with payments in several currencies in addition to euro. 

What is SEPA?
At the moment, SEPA consists of 28 EU states in addition to Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland and Monaco. The EU’s purpose with creating SEPA is to harmonise national markets into a common European market with identical conditions for euro payments.

In 2012, the EU adopted the SEPA End Date regulation. The most important element of this regulation is the requirement to also transfer domestic euro payments in SEPA countries to a common European infrastructure with common products and formats within stated deadlines.

For additional general information on SEPA, visit

Why are there different deadlines for switching to SEPA?
SEPA consists of countries in the eurozone as well as countries in which the euro is not the official currency. A country’s deadline depends on its currency. 

  1. The 1 February 2014 deadline is for SEPA member countries in which the euro is the official currency. After 1 February 2014, regular payments and direct debits in euro must be made as SEPA payments, with the requirements that follow.
  2. The 31 October 2016 deadline is for SEPA member countries in which the euro is not the official currency. The abovementioned rules apply to euro payments from accounts in the remaining SEPA countries from 31 October 2016. 

Do we still need to use BIC in addition to IBAN?
From 1 February 2016 it is no longer necessary to use BIC in addition to IBAN for euro payments within SEPA. This will apply to domestic payments from 1 February 2014 in some eurozone countries, such as Germany and Finland. 

Do you still need more than one euro account?
SEPA End Date means that a greater share of the company’s euro related banking needs can be met from a single point in SEPA, but certain country-specific services will still require a local bank account. This will not only make it easier to increase liquidity in euro, but also make life easier for a company with activities in several countries through increased standardisation of products, formats and solutions.

Please contact your CM adviser
who can offer advice on how to best take advantage of the possibilities SEPA provides you and your company.

Corporate customers