Payment orders issued in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) use international information, i.e. the IBAN, the International Bank Account Number, and the BIC, the Business Identifier Code, rather than national bank account numbers and bank identifiers. As of August 1, 2014 corporates and consumers will only be able to initiate credit transfers and direct debits by using the new identifiers.

Since February 1, 2016, an “IBAN only” rule will apply; statement of the BIC for cross-border SEPA payments will no longer be necessary. For domestic payments IBAN-only applies since 2014.

This provision is detailed in Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 and Regulation (EU) No 248/2014. Moreover, this regulations define August 1, 2014, as the deadline for “migration to SEPA,” i.e. replacement of the existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes with the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) schemes.