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Updated : 21/04/2016

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Payments, transfers and cheques

Payments, transfers and ATMs

Charges for international payments in euros

If you make an international payment in euros, Swedish krona or Romanian lei within the EU, banks should provide clear information on any charges or fees applicable.

They should not charge you more than they would for a national transaction of the same value in euros. 

This rule applies to all electronically processed payments in euros, Swedish krona and Romanian lei, 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.

Even banks based in EU countries outside the euro area must apply this rule.

Processing time for electronic payments and transfers

Your electronic payments in euros in the euro area should be received within 1 working day.

These rules will be extended to countries not using the euro as of 31st October 2016.

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 EUR 1 000 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 it would for a national transfer within Italy, while her German bank charged the same fee as it would for receiving a payment from within Germany.

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

Cheques

The EU rules on bank charges for international and national payments in euro 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.

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    In this case, the 28 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

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    Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.

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