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Updated : 20/11/2015


Payments, transfers and cheques

Payments, transfers and ATMs

For international payments in euros within the EU, banks should charge you no more than they would for a national transaction of the same value in euros.

This rule applies to all electronically processed payments in euros, including:

  • transfers between bank accounts in different EU countries
  • withdrawals from cash machines/ATMs in EU countries
  • payments by debit or credit card across the EU
  • direct debit transactions
  • money remittances.

International payments in currencies other than the euro are not subject to these provisions.

Banks in EU countries which do not use the euro must also charge the same fees for transactions in the EU as they would for a domestic transfer, if the payment or transfer is made in euros.

Sample story

Be aware that banks can still charge “domestic” fees for international payments

Lidia, in Italy, was surprised at the high fees she had been charged to transfer 100 euros to Germany. She contacted her local consumer centre to check if her rights under EU law had been infringed.

It turned out that both banks involved had correctly levied their regular charges for national payment transactions. Her Italian bank charged the same fee as for a national transfer within Italy, while her German bank charged the same fee as for receiving a payment from within Germany.

Bank fees vary widely from bank to bank and from country to country.


The EU rules on bank charges for international and national payments in euros do not apply to cheques.

There are sometimes very high transaction fees for cashing a cheque from another EU country.

Furthermore, cheques are no longer accepted as a method of payment in many EU countries. You are strongly advised not to use cheques for any international payments within the EU.

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In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

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