Standardized regulations governing national and European payment transactions were introduced with effect from February 1, 2014 with the aim of dispensing with the multitude of different regulations regarding credit transfer and direct debit procedure within the Eurozone.

The project is called SEPA: Single Euro Payments Area. The new standardized process can be used for payments made in euros in the 27 EU member states, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Monaco and Switzerland. Under the new system, IBAN and BIC information are the basic requirements for account identification.


The most important change relevant for bank customers is the account identifier, which will replace all national account details (in Germany account number and bank sort code): the International Bank Account Number - or IBAN.

Although the length of the IBAN differs according to country (in Germany it is always 22 digits long), the structure is always the same:
The number comprises a country code, check digits and a country-specific component which contains the individual account details. In Germany, this Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN) consists of the bank sort code and account number.


An additional identifier - the Business Identifier Code (BIC) - must also be provided for domestic credit transfer and direct debit payments until February 2014 and for cross-border payments until February 2016.

The BIC is a standard-format international bank code (comparable with the bank sort code in Germany) which permits the unequivocal identification of banks around the world. The BIC is also known as the SWIFT code (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication).

If you wish to make a credit transfer, simply use the IBAN and BIC details provided on the commercial documents (invoice or letterhead) of your contractual partner. If this information is not provided here, it must be requested from the relevant party.
Similarly, if you wish to receive a payment, you must also provide your own IBAN and BIC information. This can be found on your bank statement or on your bank's website.

Existing payment authorizations will now require a SEPA payment authorization from our customers.

We would therefore request that you return a signed copy of the prepared SEPA payment authorization document which you will receive from us.

Should you have any further questions, please contact your DHL sales representative.