SEPA payments

SEPA payments are payment transactions carried out on the basis of a payment order given by a payer or a beneficiary to a payment service provider in order to transfer money from a payment account or to a payment account maintained by the payment service provider.

SEPA payments are made through two payment schemes: SEPA transfers, SEPA direct debits

SEPA transfers

SEPA transfer (SEPA Credit Transfer – SCT) is a credit transfer in the EUR currency within countries included in SEPA. It is made on the basis of payer’s payment order entered in the electronic or paper form at a bank, with the transfer of credit to beneficiary's bank, which credits the transfer amount to the beneficiary's account.

Characteristics of a SEPA payment

  • the payment currency is always EUR
  • SHA payment instruction - the client involved in the transaction pays only fees of client’s bank
  • the bank client is informed about fees for the transfer in advance
  • beneficiary's account will be credited with the full amount, fees will not be deducted
  • the payment amount is not limited
  • the maximum settlement period are 2 working days - the payment is credited to the beneficiary's account no later than on the business day following the date of settlement in the payer's account
  • IBAN and BIC are used to identify accounts, replacing national formats of account numbers and bank codes
  • rejected and returned payments are governed by the standard set of rules with the possibility of automated processing at a bank and at a client

Useful documents

Documents PDF
SEPA Eurotransfer - form
Bulk payment order - application
How to execute SEPA-Eurotransfer in SR?
How to execute SEPA-Eurotransfer to abroad?
Payment Services Act No. 492/2009 Coll.
Structure of bank connection
Converter of bank identification codes SRČR
SEPA bulk payment order - description of PDF form


Benefits of SEPA transfers

Benefits for clients:

  • making payments in EUR in 34 SEPA countries under the same/similar conditions as in the home country from an account in one bank, using the competitive environment of banks
  • payments are made in full amount; the client involved in the transaction pays only fees of client’s bank - the payer pays fees of the payer’s bank and the beneficiary pays fees of beneficiary’s bank
  • account identification in SEPA – IBAN
  • a clear timeframe for crediting the payment to the beneficiary’s account - no later than on the next working day - improvement of client’s cash flow
  • transmission of information (structured or unstructured, according to the agreement of clients) - "Remittance information" of 140 characters

SEPA direct debits

SEPA direct debit (SDD) is a payment service, in which the amount of the payment transaction is debited from the payer's payment account and credited to the beneficiary's account; the payment order for a SEPA direct debit is submitted by the beneficiary on the basis of the payer's consent to such direct debit. The consent to the direct debit (mandate) to execute the SEPA direct debit is given by the payer directly to the beneficiary. The client can make SEPA direct debits only in the EUR currency within the SEPA countries.

Benefits of SEPA direct debits

  • the possibility to make payments through a direct debit in the SEPA countries
  • the payment is credited to the beneficiary’s account on the same day it was debited from the payer’s account
  • avoiding late payments by the payer - SEPA direct debits are initiated by the beneficiary
  • account protection according to the client's request, including the possibility to enter direct debit authorization
  • notifying the client of a received SEPA direct debit by the bank in the case of the first direct debit
  • notifying the client of a rejected SEPA direct debit; simple as well as secure way to pay for liabilities in EUR
  • the payer is entitled to a refund (the consumer in the case of SDD Core)

How to setup SEPA direct debits?

The following terms are used for a SEPA direct debit:

  • Mandate - Consent given by the payer to the partner (collector) to cashless payments through a SEPA direct debit; it is a contractual relationship between the payer and the collector without involvement of the bank
  • CID - Collector’s unique identifier assigned by the institution in charge of keeping the database of collectors in the given country (in Slovakia it is the National Bank of Slovakia)
  • UMR – mandate reference, an unique identifier set by the collector
  • Account protection - fully protected (blocked), partially/conditionally protected, open
  • Direct debit authorization – consent entered on client’s current account for the collector, which is used to check eligibility of the direct debit by the collector


EBA-STEP2 is a payment system allowing automated processing of payments within banks of the EU and EEA countries and Switzerland.

To send a payment via EBA-STEP2, the payment must meet the following conditions besides the standard data, when a client submits a payment order:

  • EUR currency
  • payment type - standard
  • beneficiary's account always has the correct IBAN form
  • BIC – the swift code of the beneficiary’s bank in a EU or EEA country or Switzerland
  • fee instruction - SHA (the payer pays the fees of payer’s bank, fees of other banks are paid by the beneficiary)

If the above conditions are met, VUB Bank will ensure the payment is made through the STEP2 system. In this case the client pays only fees of VUB Bank, the payment is sent in the full amount to the beneficiary's bank - no fees of foreign banks are charged.

Price List

Payment system services and products are charged according to the valid Price List of VÚB, a.s.


I have entered a SEPA payment in favour of a wrong account, what should I do if I want to get the transferred credit back?

The bank cannot cancel the payment in this case. It is therefore necessary to apply for payment refund using the application for mediation of payment refund at any branch of VUB. We will then contact the beneficiary or beneficiary's bank and will request a refund; we will inform you about this in writing, by a letter or a document that you get at a branch when submitting the application. If the money is not returned to you within the set period, you can apply in writing for provision of beneficiary’s identification information in order to recover the payment.

What requirements must a payment order meet?

A payment order must contain the following:
Mandatory data in a domestic payment order

  • the account number and the bank code of the sender - IBAN (the client in the position of a consumer may enter the account in the original form, i.e. BBAN until 1 February 2016)
  • beneficiary's account number - IBAN (until 1 February 2016, the client in the position of a consumer may enter the account in the original form, i.e. BBAN; in the case of a payment to EU outside Slovakia always IBAN)
  • BIC, partner’s bank code – mandatory a) for a SEPA payment within Slovakia, if the partner’s account is specified in the BBAN format, and b) for a SEPA payment outside Slovakia until 1 February 2016
  • partner’s name - mandatory for a SEPA payment outside Slovakia and a SEPA direct debit within/outside Slovakia
  • transaction amount
  • transaction currency - if the payer does not enter this information, the payment will be automatically made in the EUR currency
  • maturity date of the transaction (when the payment should be debited from the sender’s account), determined by the moment of acceptance of the payment order. The maturity date can be up to 100 calendar days from the current date; if the maturity date is not specified, the payments is usually processed on the day of submission
  • in the case of a SEPA direct debit: the direct debit type (Core, B2B), collector’s CID, mandate reference, signature date of the mandate
  • the signature(s) and, if necessary, the stamp of the payer in accordance with the signature authorization for the corresponding account

Mandatory data in the domestic payment system

  • a variable symbol - up to 10 digits; it helps the payer as well as the beneficiary to identify the payment (by whom or for what was the payment made). Letters, slashes, commas or other characters are not used.
  • a constant symbol - up to 4 digits. You can choose a constant symbol according to the payment purpose or the method used to enter the payment.
  • a specific symbol - up to 10 digits, used to identify a payment. Letters, slashes, commas or other characters are not used.
  • payer’s reference - up to 35 characters, if used, it is not possible to use the symbols and vice versa, see the answer to the second question.

What are the conditions for the settlement of a SEPA direct debit?

To settle a SEPA direct debit, there must be direct debit authorization in the payer’s account (in the case of legal persons/entrepreneurs always before the maturity date; in the case of natural persons and if the collector sends a direct debit marked FRST - first, the direct debit authorization is set up automatically and the direct debit is settled, if the payer does not reject the direct debit before the maturity date), which is paired with the received SEPA direct debit to CID and the mandate reference (UMR). At the same time, the direct debit must meet the parameters defined by the client: the scheme type, the limit amount, the validity of the authorization from - to, the direct debit period and the number of repetitions.
Direct debits are not recycled, so it is necessary to ensure the financial cover on the maturity date of the direct debit. If collector’s account is maintained at other bank, the money must be provided from 0:00 a.m. of the maturity date. If the financial cover is not ensured, the direct debit is rejected. If the collector’s account is maintained at our bank, the money can be provided during the maturity date. If the financial cover is not ensured, the direct debit is rejected during evening processing.

I have entered a SEPA payment, but there is not enough money in my account, should I enter it again?

In the case of insufficient available funds in your account, entered SEPA payments are not settled, and they enters the so-called “recycling” (repeated attempts to execute the payment order), which normally takes three banking days, and this period does not include the date of inclusion of the payment order in recycling. If you provide money within this period, the payment order will be processed. If you do not provide sufficient money within the specified period to execute the payment order, the order will be automatically rejected from processing after recycling is finished, and it will be necessary to enter it again. When entering a payment order, we recommend ensuring sufficient funds in your account (for the payment, for eventual transfer fees; the mandatory minimum balance specifically provided for natural persons must remain in your account as well), otherwise the payment will be delayed or rejected; moreover, you will be charged a fee for each day of recycling in accordance with the VUB Price List. If your payment contains a constant symbol with a priority, i.e. in relation to the state budget and other items of the state budget (class 1 and 4) and in relation of banks to clients (class 9), such payments are recycled without restrictions. Payments with currency conversion or to a foreign currency amount are not recycled.

What are the correct variable, constant and specific symbol used for? Do I have to fill them in?

Variable, constant and specific symbols are often used to identify payments by a payer and a beneficiary. For example, an invoice number is usually entered as a variable symbol. They are the so-called optional data, so you do not have to fill them in. If a beneficiary of a SEPA payment requires a symbol with leading zeroes, it is necessary to enter it in the Payer’s Reference field with the following structure: /VS[N10]/SS[N10]/KS[N4], where: /VS[N10] – a variable symbol, max. a 10-digit number /SS[N10] – a specific symbol, max. 10-digit number /KS[N4] – constant symbol, max. a 4-digit number

SS not specified: /VS012345/SS/KS0308
All symbols specified: /VS012345/SS000123/KS0308
SS and KS not specified:/VS012345/SS/KS
If a client enters a variable symbol into the field for VS (VS- Variable Symbol), it will be carried over again without leading zeroes.

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