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Updated : 03/11/2017

Payments, transfers and cheques

Payments, transfers and cash withdrawals

Charges for international payments within the EU

If you make a cross-border payment within the EU, banks should provide clear information on any charges or fees applicable.

If the payment is in euros or Swedish krona, 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, 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 within the EU should be received within 1 working day.

Sample story

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

Lidia, in Italy, was surprised that 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 from bank to bank and from country to country.


The EU rules on bank charges for international and national payments 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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