SEPA Schemes

Learn about what are SEPA schemes and how Devengo manages them

SEPA refers to a system of payment that allows companies based in the Single Euro Payments Area, to make and receive payments in euros within Europe, regardless of national boundaries.

Managed by the European Payment Council, SEPA is the effort of the European Commission and the European Central Bank to harmonize payment systems and make them more efficient. Although is mandatory for banks in those countries to use the Euro, most European countries have joined SEPA. However, not all banks in those countries are in SEPA. For example, not all banks based in the UK or Iceland can accept SEPA transfers.

A crucial step in SEPA's creation is the development and implementation of "payment schemes" that enable credit transfers and direct debits.

Our API uses two of them to make transfers:

  • SCT (Sepa Credit Transfer), launched in 2008, is mandatory for all banks in the SEPA network.
  • SCT-INST (Instant Credit Transfer), launched in 2017, is -as of today- optional for those banks in the SEPA network.

Characteristics of the schemes

Let’s see the main characteristics of the two schemes that will be useful to know:

CharacteristicSCTSTC - INST
AvailabilityWorking days24/7/365
Funds arrivalBetween 12/48 hours10 seconds
Limit for a transfer amountNo specific100.000 €
Feedback on the operationBetween 12/48 hoursInstantaneous
Errors informationLack of information about the causeSpecific causes, allowing for remediation

SCT-INST Adherence

By June 2022, 71% of SCT scheme banks were adhering to the SCT-INST scheme at the European level, according to the European Central Bank. There are, however, stark differences between the Member States, with 93% of Austrian PSPs offering SCT Inst options and only 4% in Ireland, for example.

Here you have the percentage of participants by country (Status 10 June 2022):

Country (Euro)% of STC - INST adherent banks
Austria93%
Belgium48%
Cyprus14%
Estonia58%
Finland78%
France50%
Germany89%
Greece48%
Ireland4%
Italy71%
Latvia56%
Lithuania46%
Luxemburg9%
Malta17%
Netherlands32%
Portugal46%
Slovakia24%
Slovenia100%
Spain78%
Country (Non-Euro)% of STC - INST adherent banks
Croatia0%
Czech Republic5%
Denmark2%
Hungary0%
Poland4%
Romania4%
Sweden40%

How Devengo API uses SEPA schemes

With the purpose to deliver money as fast as possible, our API is designed to take advantage of the STC-INST scheme wherever possible.

Devengo API will switch to using the SCT scheme when it is impossible to make an instant transfer, for example when the transfer to send exceeds 100.000€ or when the bank of destination doesn’t support SCT-INST.

Learn more about how and when will the payments be executed in the payments execution section.