Bank transfer charges, SEPA - query
Thread poster: materiamedica

Local time: 22:39
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Apr 16, 2013

Dear all,

Can someone please confirm whether bank transfers are indeed free of charge within the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area)? I need to know specifically about Austria (for a bank transfer to another EU bank).
I am never charged a fee for receiving or sending payments in the eurozone, but a potential customer has indicated otherwise.

Many thanks for any input.



Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Dutch to German
+ ...
Procedures Apr 16, 2013

Yes, they are free, under the condition that you follow the right procedure and you indicate IBAN and BIC. Some people do not seem to know that, with the consequence that they are being charged.
Had the problem with a client recently and asked her which bank (a Dutch one in this case) she was using. Most banks have the appropriate instructions on their website and I just sent her the link to those. I have received her payment in the meantime and she was not charged any bankcharges, since she did what she had to do.

Good luck educating your client!


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
Member (2007)
+ ...
I don't believe they're necessarily free Apr 16, 2013

What I believed to be the case was that the banks cannot charge more for sending/receiving between banks in different EU countries than they would within their own country. In other words, if a French bank charges 10€ to send money to, or receive money from, another French bank, then they can legitimately charge the same amount for the same transactions with banks outside France.

I think one of the French banks I used to deal with charges for French transfers outside its own group.


Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:39
English to French
banks, banks, banks Apr 16, 2013

materiamedica wrote:
...I am never charged a fee for receiving or sending payments in the eurozone, but a potential customer has indicated otherwise...

I also thought I was able to transfer money within the eurozone for free.
I was surprised when I was charged 35 euros by my Spanish bank for a large transfer to my own bank account in France. I didn't even disturb any bank staff as I did it via Internet. However, I am not charged by my French bank when I transfer to Spain.
Go figure.

Wolfgang Jörissen wrote:
Yes, they are free, under the condition that you follow the right procedure and you indicate IBAN and BIC.

This was not my experience.

Banks rule the world, and you have to swallow whatever fee they charge you for making profit with your money (and for sinking whole economies if they don't).

The only weapon you have as a customer against banks is to shop around (including Internet banks) and read their conditions and fees in small print.

Good luck,


Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:39
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Not necessarily free Apr 16, 2013

Here's the Wikipedia article, see especially the part "Misconceptions":

[Edited at 2013-04-16 17:50 GMT]


David Wright  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:39
German to English
+ ...
Are you sending from or to Austria? Apr 17, 2013

If to Austria, I don't know. If from Austria, since there is no charge imposed on domestic transfers, no charge is imposed on SEPA transfers. But do use the right form (preferably online).


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:39
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Bank account type Apr 17, 2013

Perhaps it makes a difference which type of bank account you're sending the money from.

I have a separate business account, and the fees for transfering money solely depend on how I send it. Writing out a transfer slip and scanning it in is more expensive than an electronically innitiated transaction. However, both have a fixed charge which is not affected by the amount. The bank charges me the same fee for a 2.00 Euro transaction as it does for a 2,000.00 Euro transfer.


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