SEPA credit transfer

What they are

A SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) credit transfer or SCT is a money transfer made in the single currency area for payments in euros between two current account holders. The person paying, or originator, must indicate the IBAN of the person receiving, or beneficiary, i.e. the alphanumeric code that identifies the destination account.

The law provides that a credit transfer must usually be made within one working day at the most. The amount must be transferred and credited to the beneficiary's bank account by that deadline. The deadline is calculated from when the credit transfer instruction is received from the originator's payment service provider.

Interested parties

Anyone who wants to transfer sums of money securely and within a certain timeframe in Italy and abroad.

Anyone who uses home banking services (see under 'Key words').

Strengths and drawbacks

A credit transfer means you don't have to physically move cash around.

The payment service provider is not responsible if a credit transfer is not made or is made incorrectly if the IBAN provided by the customer is wrong. However, the payment service provider must make every reasonable effort to recover the funds involved in the payment transaction.


A credit transfer may be free of charge for the person ordering the payment, but there is often a charge according to the following variables: type of credit transfer, urgency, amount, currency, country of the beneficiary and the channel used (over the counter, online, ordinary correspondence and so on).

A SEPA credit transfer to a European country costs the same as the same kind of credit transfer made in Italy.

Underlying rules

Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 requires the intermediary to charge the same for payments in euros within Italy and towards euro-area countries. It is worth looking at the costs of credit transfers according to the various ways you can make them, your needs and your payment habits. Regulation (EU) 2019/518 extended the scope for applying the principle of equality of charges, imposing on payment service providers the obligation of equal charges for cross-border payments in euros, made within the European Union and the corresponding national payments made in the national currency.

To reduce the risk of mistakes and make secure credit transfers, you must check the numerical and alphanumerical characters of the IBAN code very carefully.

A receipt with the transaction reference number (TRN) does not attest to the actual transfer because the transfer can be revoked or cancelled, even once it has been ordered: this is why it is always important to check whether a transferred amount has actually been credited to your account.

If a credit transfer is made after the deadline agreed with the beneficiary, any responsibility for not respecting the deadline lies with the originator, not with the payment service provider.


If you are overly optimistic, you might authorize a credit transfer without being sure that you have enough funds to cover it, because perhaps you think some money might be credited to your account at some point.

Remedy: check your account statement, keeping a close eye on deposits and withdrawals to avoid making decisions based on faulty assumptions.



With home banking, bank customers can carry out banking transactions - such as credit transfers and payments - through the internet without having to go to a branch. Home banking services are accessed by entering one's username and password. In addition to the convenience of this service, home banking often offers services at a lower cost.