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Detailed Information

The goal of SEPA is to optimise payment services. In support of this goal, the European Parliament adopted, among other legislative acts, Regulation (EU) 260/2012.

This Regulation, also known as “SEPA end-date regulation”, establishes a set of common standards, rules and practices for the execution of payment orders (credit transfers) 
and collections (direct debits) within the SEPA countries and determines the end-dates by which banks and businesses should adopt and implement specific technical requirements 
in order to operate within a single payments market.

The countries which are part of the jurisdictional scope of SEPA are the following:

European Union (EU) – Euro Area countries (19 countries)
Austria Spain The Netherlands
Belgium Italy Portugal
France Cyprus Slovakia
Germany Latvia Slovenia
Greece Lithuania Finland
Estonia Luxembourg  
 Ireland  Malta  
European Union (EU) – Member States with currencies other than the euro (9 countries)
Bulgaria Denmark Romania
Croatia Hungary Sweden
Czech Republic Poland United Kingdom
Non-EU countries
Andorra Liechtenstein Switzerland
Guernsey Monaco Vatican City State
 Iceland  Norway  
 Isle of Man  San Marino  

The benefits brought by SEPA to consumers, when these either make payments (“payers”) or receive payments (“payees”), are the following:

  • Convenient use
  • Automated procedure
  • Uniformity of technical rules

For more details, please visit the official website of the Bank of Greece www.bankofgreece.gr
More specifically, the Regulation lays down the terms governing the execution of payment orders (credit transfers) and collections (direct debits) in euro, as well as the ways 
of communication between banks and individuals and businesses so as to operate in a single payments market. 


The Regulation requires the use of common standards and business practices throughout Europe. Indicatively, the following standards apply to SEPA payment orders:

IBAN: International Bank Account Number
 
This number unambiguously identifies the credit institution and the account of a payee. Within SEPA, the use of IBAN becomes mandatory as of 01.08.2014 and is a prerequisite for the automated processing of payment orders.
 
More details for the ΙΒΑΝ

BIC: Business Identifier Code:

International standardised code which uniquely identifies a financial institution anywhere in the world. A different naming for BIC is SWIFT Code. 
The mandatory use of BIC for payment transactions within SEPA will end on 1.2.2016.

“ISO 20022 XML” Standard:

Standard format for the development of electronic financial messages, as defined by ISO, including the payments orders and direct debits in XML format, in accordance with the rules under the scope of the Regulation (ΕU) 260/2012.

For access to the information concerning the articles of the Regulation through the official website of the Hellenic Bank Association, click here.

Secure electronic transactions
The security of your transactions is our priority. We ask our Customers to follow the guidelines for the security of electronic transactions provided by Alpha Bank, especially at this time that phishing attacks have significantly increased.

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