A SEPA Bank account operates within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and makes money transfers cheap and fast. SEPA was established to ease international payments using Euros. Electronic payments within the SEPA countries are usually for free, although some banks charge a small fee. If you are opening an online bank account, it is important that you confirm that it supports SEPA payments. In short, make sure you are opening a SEPA bank account. We will take you through the process of opening a SEPA bank account online.
Benefits of a SEPA Bank Account
- A SEPA bank account simplifies cross-border money transfers, facilitates fast money transfers that can take a day and in the end lowers the cost of the transfer. Instant SEPA transfers are done in seconds
- You can open a SEPA Bank account online and remotely by signing up for an account with a virtual bank. Some of the virtual banks that we recommend include Monese, N26, Bunq and Revolut.
- If you are a resident of the EU or a passport holder, you can easily open a SEPA bank account. Non-residents also have options to open a SEPA bank account, for example with Wise.
What is the difference between SEPA and Instant SEPA? SEPA transfer is a regular transfer, which may take between 12 to 36 hours during working days while Instant SEPA is an urgent Euro transfer that is processed in seconds, regardless of the week’s time and day. In order to enjoy Instant SEPA benefits, both sending and receiving bank needs to have the Instant SEPA feature.
Who Can Open a SEPA Bank Account?
You can open a SEPA Bank account if you are a resident of the EU. When you open a bank account within the EU, automatically your account is a SEPA bank account.
If you are a non-resident and want an account, you too can open a SEPA bank account online and remotely. However, you will require to do more paperwork. When you make an electronic payment in Euros, it will fall under the SEPA scheme. It is worth noting that not all European banks are SEPA members.
Requirements for Opening a SEPA Bank Account
To open a SEPA personal bank account, you generally only need a residence permit, a national or European identity card or a passport. A physical address is generally only needed to receive your cards, and a proof of address is often not required. In most countries, you do need to provide your tax number.
To open a SEPA business bank account, you need:
- Physical EU address of the business
- Credit check reference (not always)
- Tax compliance of the business
How to Open a SEPA Bank Account Online
Mobile banks have been on the rise and you can use them to open a SEPA Bank account online. Most of the European virtual banks come with SEPA accounts, bank transfers and bank cards. You can create an account online and start transacting online. Most of virtual banks offer customer service through live chats, email and phone calls.
Banks with SEPA Bank Accounts
You can use the following virtual banks to open a SEPA bank account online.
Wise offers a multi-currency account that you can use to send and receive money. You can open an IBAN account and hold over 50 currencies and convert using real exchange rates. It does not have hidden fees while you also get a debit card which you can use to spend around. You get free ATM withdrawals for $250 and less and a 2% fee for amounts above that.
With Wise you can get local bank details for the following currencies: Sterling Pound, Euro, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Hungarian Forint, Romanian Leu, Singapore Dollar.
Wise for e-Commerce Businesses. Wise is now officially a member of the Amazon payment service provider program, which means that any business selling on Amazon can now use Wise to receive their sales earnings in multiple currencies. It is also possible to connect your Wise business account to eBay and Stripe.
Monese comes with a borderless account and you can open a personal or a business account online. It offers a SEPA-IBAN account in the UK. It offers borderless payments, modern banking for individuals and small businesses. It offers a SEPA-IBAN account in the UK. ATM withdrawals cost 2% while foreign currency spending costs 2%.
N26 is an online bank that you can use to open a SEPA bank account. It offers personal IBAN and business IBAN in the SEPA zone. You can send money to over 20 countries at low costs. The personal account has four plans; N26 Standard that is free, N26 Smart costing €4.90, N26 Metal costing €16.90 and N26 You costing €9.90 every month.
Revolut is a virtual bank account you can use to open a SEPA bank account and comes with a prepaid card. You can use a Revolut account to send and receive money and also trade in cryptocurrencies. It is an ideal bank for frequent travelers. It offers free ATM withdrawals for amounts less than £200 and then a 2% fee for withdrawals above £200. Transfer fees range between 0 and 0.5%. The currency exchange rate is up to 3.5% of the amount.
Bunq is an online bank that offers multicurrency IBAN account in the European Economic Area. It also provides SEPA transfers and international card payments. After opening an account, you get 10 free ATM withdrawals every month. You can open a personal, joint, or business account with bunq. Cash withdrawals cost €0.99 per withdrawal. Sending money to SEPA countries using a personal account is free while receiving money from a bank in non-SEPA countries costs between €5 and €20.
Bunq multicurrency account supports the following currencies dollars, pounds, Swiss franc, Poland złoty and Bulgarian levin.
On April 22, 2021, Bunq became is the first online bank outside of Germany to offer German IBANs. At the moment, Bunq IBAN for German account holders is available for new account holders with Personal accounts.
Paysera is an online bank you can use to open a SEPA bank account. It offers IBAN accounts, cheap and easy money transfers. You can use it to send and receive money online. It is free to transfer money within the SEPA area with a personal account. You can open a personal or a business account with Paysera. Credit card fees are between €3 and €5 for non-EEA citizens. Credit cards for businesses cost €5. ATM cash withdrawals within the EU states and Bulgaria cost €1 while in non-EU states; they cost €1.50 and 1.80%.
SEPA Countries 2021
The following is a list of SEPA countries:
|Isle of Man||IM||GB||GBP|
|Saint Martin (French part)||MF||FR||EUR|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||PM||FR||EUR|
Non-SEPA Countries 2021
It is worth noting that not all European countries are part of the SEPA Zone. Some of the SEPA non-countries include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Benefits SEPA account
If you live within the SEPA zone, it is best that you open a SEPA bank account and enjoy fast money transfers. Also, you get to enjoy cheap cross-border money transfers. You can easily open an account online with virtual banks and start transacting. Although all European banks support SEPA, confirm with your bank before opening an account if it offers SEPA bank accounts.