The European transfer has the following features:
- Payments throughout SEPA (including between two accounts in Belgium);
- Uniform account structure: uniform account identification based on an IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and a BIC (Bank Identifier Code). The IBAN-BIC combination will replace the Belgian account number (with a 3-7-2 structure), including for transfers within Belgium;
- The recipient's account is credited within three (bank) business days at most. For transfers where the recipient lives in Belgium, their account will continue to be credited within one day;
- The transaction amount is paid in full; fees are charged separately.
European transfers must meet all the following conditions:
Belgian payment systems enjoy a worldwide reputation in terms of security and user-friendliness. This is why Belgian banks have taken a number of additional steps to maintain their high quality and support the switchover to the SEPA. The main measures are:
- Maintaining a maximum period of one day between debit and credit for domestic payments.
- Maintenance of structured communication.
- During a transitional phase, the existing transfer forms can still be used alongside the new European version. This began in 2009 and will last for several years.
- A new European paper transfer document has been developed in Belgium for the SEPA.
The European transfer has been available since 28 January 2008.