Bankera Blog Logo
Menu bar
Bankera Blog LogoGO TO BANKERA
Search Bankera Blog

Payment Network Comparison: SEPA vs SWIFT

SEPA and SWIFT are two of the most popular payment networks worldwide, each offering its users a possibility to carry out transfers between financial institutions within the network. While SEPA payments are already running on Bankera, our team will fully introduce SWIFT transfers in the coming months. In the meantime, let’s take a look at each of the two networks and compare their respective benefits.

SEPA – payment solutions for European countries

SEPA (short for “Single Euro Payments Area”) is a payment method designed to facilitate bank transfers denominated in euro. Currently, SEPA payments are supported in 36 European countries, including all EU member states, the United Kingdom, and several others.  


The main advantages of SEPA transfers lie in their speed and low transactional costs. On business days, it only takes up to 24 hours for the payment to reach the receiver. What is even better – SEPA transfers are usually fee-free, carrying no extra costs for payment execution.


In 2017, SEPA launched the Instant Credit Transfer feature, widely known as “SEPA Instant”. The improvement increased SEPA transfer speed to unprecedented heights. Now, it usually takes less than ten seconds for a SEPA Instant transfer to reach the receiver, while the payment can be completed at any time of the week, including weekends and non-office hours.

SWIFT – available globally

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, commonly referred to as SWIFT, is a global payment system that executes international wire transfers. Unlike SEPA, SWIFT network is not limited to Europe and is currently supported in 200 countries and territories worldwide.


The concept of SWIFT is also older than SEPA – it was created in 1973 as an attempt to standardize financial transactions, supported by around 200 financial institutions in 15 countries. Now, SWIFT is the most widely used payment network around the world.


SWIFT is a more beneficial payment option for individuals and companies that use multiple currencies or operate outside Europe – the network supports a great variety of currencies, including USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, and AUD. The funds can also be sent to financial institutions in virtually any country globally.


On the other hand, compared to SEPA, SWIFT is a slower and more costly network. SWIFT transactions usually carry a fee and can take up to 5 days to be processed, which might be inconvenient for some users. SWIFT is already working on increasing the network speed while employing local payment systems. However, it might take a long time to increase the speed on a global level significantly.

Why is it beneficial to use both networks?

Although some of the services that SEPA and SWIFT provide overlap, each of these networks can complement one another and form an excellent tandem for your everyday payments.


In terms of accessibility, SWIFT will allow you to send money to almost any country in the world. SEPA is a bit more limited, but the system can ensure that the money will reach its European receiver more quickly and efficiently.


Using SWIFT, clients also get access to a great variety of currencies to choose from when initiating payments. While SEPA only supports EUR transactions, the transfers in euro are usually free of charge.


You can still participate in our social media contest and win a Bankera hoodie by guessing the correct date of SEPA Instant launch on Bankera. Enter the contest on our social media channels!

28 January, 2021

Bankera Blog Logo