Sending money internationally to a bank account : SWIFT or SEPA?

2023-11-20
All articlesMoney Transfer GuidesPersonal Finance Tips
Sending money internationally

In contemporary times, many individuals perceive a shrinking world, fostering a closer connection to a global society. Whether you’re celebrating weddings abroad, embarking on international business or study adventures, or investing in holiday properties in far-off lands, our lives often extend across borders.

Sending money internationally is a part of our life. However, with hidden transfer costs, fluctuating exchange rates and varying delivery time, you might ask yourself ‘Did I send money the best way for my needs?’

In this guide, we’ll help you understand which method suits your needs best.

Understanding of SWIFT and SEPA

When you’re sending money internationally, you might come across the terms SWIFT and SEPA. In case they’re unfamiliar to you, we’ll explain the differences.

What’s a SWIFT transfer and how does it work?

A SWIFT transfer is an international money transfer done via the SWIFT network, which stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial telecommunications.

To send money via SWIFT: you’ll need a SWIFT code (also called a BIC code). It contains 8 - 11 characters and is the bank/branch identifier for the payment.

You’ll also need the IBAN, which is the SWIFT format for an account number. Using SWIFT, your money will be transferred directly to your recipient’s bank account safely and securely in 3-5 working days.

What’s a SEPA transfer and how does it work?

SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area. A SEPA transfer is designed specifically for bank transfers denominated in EUR within the 27 EU member states but also within the UK, Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.

To send a SEPA payment, you just need the IBAN number for the bank account. SEPA transfers are known for their fast, budget-friendly service. With SEPA payments, transfers are typically processed within 24 hours.

How can you choose between SWIFT and SEPA?

The choice between SWIFT and SEPA comes down to your specific needs. Take into account the location of your recipient, the currency, the cost, the speed, and the security requirements of your transfer.

  • If you’re sending money within the Eurozone, SEPA is your efficient and cost-effective choice.
  • For transactions in non-European currencies or destinations, SWIFT’s global reach is your best bet.

Paysend makes it easy to send both SEPA and SWIFT payments. With just a few taps on your phone, you can smoothly send and receive money within the Eurozone, and what’s even better? - It won’t cost you a thing - thanks to SEPA Credit Transfer. If you need to send money outside the Eurozone, Paysend also has you covered with SWIFT payments.

Download Paysend to join 8+ million worldwide Paysend customers today!

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