Credit transfers in euro

Transfer fees

You may make euro transfers (credit transfers) to any EU member country in either electronic or paper format at the same price as comparable domestic transfers.

Regulation (EU) 2019/518 amending Regulation (EU) 924/2009 as regards certain changes on cross-border payments in the Union and currency conversion charges

This EU regulation, which was published in the Official Journal of the EU on March 29, 2019, extends the equality of charges principle to cover cross-border payments in euro initiated in non-euro area EU countries. So far, EU law only required the charges for cross-border payments made in euro to be the same as those for national payments within the euro area. The new regulation stipulates that the charges for cross-border euro payments from non-euro area EU countries must not be higher than the charges for domestic payments in the currency of the non-euro area EU country. Furthermore, the regulation provides more transparency to consumers as regards currency conversions and related charges.

For an overview of current legislation relating to retail payments (including brief explanations), please visit SEPA – legal framework.

Cross-border payments cost the same as domestic payments if they fulfill certain criteria:

  • Transfers must be effected in euro
  • The recipient’s account must be maintained in an EU member country
  • The recipient’s IBAN must be stated correctly
  • The transfer fees are split between the payer and the payee:
    Fee option SHA (shared): each party pays the fees charged by its payment service provider. The transfer amount must not be reduced by the amount of any fees. Thus, the payer and the payee each pay the fees their banks charge (exclusive of currency conversion charges).

Payment orders that do not meet these requirements (e.g. if the IBAN is not stated correctly) lose the status of a low-cost EU standard transfer (see, e.g., Article 4 paragraph 3 Regulation (EC) No 924/2009) and may be conducted as regular cross-border payments attracting higher charges.

Execution times

Since January 1, 2012, the transfer amount in euro must reach the recipient’s bank on the business day following the transaction, as stipulated by the Austrian  Payment Services Act (Zahlungsdienstegesetz ). The deadline is extended by an additional business day for transfers originated by paper instrument (transfers other than online or electronic fund transfers).

The execution period is independent of the transfer amount and applies to

  • euro transfers within the EU as well as
  • transfers within an EU Member State outside the euro area or outside a member country of the European Economic Area (EEA) in the respective country’s currency and
  • to other transfers within the EEA, provided the amount is converted only once between the euro and the currency of the EEA member country and provided any cross-border transactions are in euro.

Examples:

  • Euro transfers within Austria
  • Euro transfers between Austria and other euro area countries (e.g. Germany, Italy, France, Spain or Ireland)
  • Euro transfers from Austria to Hungary (an EU Member State), with the euro amount being converted into Hungarian forint in Hungary; euro transfers from Austria to Norway (an EEA, but not an EU member country), with the euro amount being converted into Norwegian krone in Norway.
  • Transfers within Hungary in Hungarian forint, or transfers within Norway in Norwegian krone.

Which steps can customers take if the financial institution does not comply with the terms governing fees and execution times?

The financial institution must comply with the fee terms whenever transfer information is provided in line with the provisions governing EU standard transfers. The requirements for execution times are spelled out above.

If you require information about the execution of a transfer you have made, address your request to the bank that manages your account first. Your bank is obligated by law to give you information about the processing of your payment order and the applicable fees.

If your request does not meet with success, you may turn to the Joint Conciliation Board of the Austrian Banking Industry (Gemeinsame Schlichtungsstelle der Österreichischen Kreditwirtschaft).