SEPA payment

SEPA credit transfer is a credit transfer in compliance with the European credit transfer standard. It can be used for all types of euro payments within the single euro payments area.

SEPA credit transfers are usually credited to the recipient on the following weekday at the latest, whereas SEPA instant credit transfers are transferred in seconds within the euro payments area. Whenever possible, most SEPA credit transfers are cleared to other banks in Finland and Europe in real time as SEPA instant credit transfers. 

Real-time payments within seconds

Payments within the entire euro payments area are becoming faster as more and more banks adopt the SEPA instant credit transfer service to replace standard SEPA credit transfers.

  • Funds are transferred and available for use within 10 seconds after the payment is sent 24/7, each day of the year.
  • Inter-bank transfers in Finland do not have a euro-based upper limit. Banks from other countries also belong to the Closed User Group that doesn’t apply an upper limit. In the SEPA scheme, the general upper limit is now 100,000 euros.
  • The same service is used throughout the SEPA between participating banks.
  • The largest banks in Finland and throughout the SEPA have adopted the service, at least so that they accept incoming instant credit transfers. Banks will adopt the service based on their own schedule and will begin to provide the service in stages.

How can I start using SEPA instant credit transfer?

  • You don’t need to take any action to start using SEPA instant credit transfer. Whenever possible, euro payments confirmed for immediate payment in the service, on OP-mobile or in Pivo are transmitted from OP to other banks in real time. The condition for instant credit transfer is that the receiving bank processes payments in real time.
  • Receiving SEPA instant credit transfer payments is also possible automatically.  
  • Any payments between OP accounts are always transmitted in real time.

Did you know that as our corporate customer you can facilitate your company’s daily routines through real-time payments?


SEPA is part of the European harmonisation process which has led, for example, to the common euro currency. SEPA, for its part, promotes freedom of movement and trade of EU citizens and European companies. Euro-denominated payments within the SEPA do not differ from domestic payments.

What payments can be transmitted as SEPA instant credit transfers?

Any payments if the receiving bank is able to receive SEPA instant credit transfers and the due date of the payment is now. 

What happens if the receiving bank hasn’t joined the SEPA instant credit transfer service?

If the receiving bank hasn’t joined the service, the payment will be transmitted as a regular SEPA credit transfer.

If the payment is not made as a SEPA instant credit transfer, how fast will it be delivered to the payee’s account?

Euro-denominated payments within Finland, and SEPA credit transfers will arrive in another bank within the SEPA on the same day if the payment is made in the service or on OP-mobile before 14.00. Payments made after 14.00 will arrive on the following working day. Payments are transmitted to accounts several times a day. Payments with due dates in the future, or recurring payments are not yet transmitted as SEPA instant credit transfers.

In what format should the account number be entered?

A SEPA credit transfer always includes the bank accounts of the payer and payee in the international IBAN format. IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is an international account number.

Which countries form SEPA?

The SEPA area consists of the following 36 countries:

  • EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden
  • EEA countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Monaco
  • Andorra, San Marino, Vatican, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Which currencies are included in SEPA?

SEPA services are always in euros.

What does the abbreviation SEPA stand for?

SEPA or Single Euro Payments Area is a project by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and European banks, whose work has led to an EEA-wide home market for payment transfers.