SEPA – Wrong button with big effect

The foreign payment to Ireland might remain to a customer of the Sparkasse Duisburg with lasting effect in recollection. In the issue 06/2009 of the German magazine “Financial Test”reported a reader about his experiences with a putatively easy transaction.

To book his summer cottage in Ireland, he decided to effect the payment above the Internet portal of his bank. For this kind of order he selected a “foreign payment” because this choice was plausible for him – finally, the residence, or the receiving account of the payee was also abroad.

The customer was loaded with 35.00 € fees for this transaction! On request at his bank they explained to him, that he has chosen the wrong button for this transaction! His transfer was not a “foreign payment” but a “SEPA Credit Transfer” which caused only 0.80 € fees. The customer asked himself here rightly: “Why was the right kind of order in the query to the target country not automatically selected?”

Change about the fees?

An absolutely legitimate question! Is here worked on the customers’ costs? Or is it on the wallet of the customer to increase the sensitivity of SEPA? This would be absolutely the wrong way. A control or assignment of the payment to the right order might not fail indeed any more because of technical hurdles. The range of the SEPA has not disclosed till this day yet to many users, or the difference is not well known in detail.

The banks should turn in at this point and support the user in theirs choice of the payment ways by suitable software. If the customer finds no adequate help it could lead fast to a „SEPA frustration“ as to a „SEPA desire“.