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SEPA and SWIFT Payments A Step by step Guide for Business

SEPA and SWIFT Payments: A Step-by-step Guide for Business

Today, business clients have a plethora of payment options available to them. From credit cards to e-wallets and loyalty programs, there are plenty of ways that consumers can make purchases with their bank accounts nowadays. But what about businesses? Do businesses also have access to all these payment options? The answer is yes, but it all depends on the type of business you run.

If you run a brick-and-mortar store or an online retailer, for example, it’s likely that you will have access to most of these payment options — depending on your location and banking relationship. We will try to cover everything you need to know about how merchants should handle the new electronic payment systems that are meant specifically for them. We will discuss things like how to set up your merchant account and accept payments through various channels.

What is the Payment Scheme for Business?

The payment scheme for merchants varies from country to country — and these protocols are meant to be consistent across borders. For example, if you are a small retailer in the U.S., you will likely have to use the ACH payment scheme — whereas if you are a retailer in the UK, you will likely use the Faster Payments scheme.

The payment scheme for merchants is a scheme set up by banks that allows them to receive payments for their goods and services. When a consumer makes a purchase using a debit card, credit card another electronic payment method, the merchant’s bank transfers the money directly from the consumer’s bank account. This kind of electronic payment system makes it easier for businesses to receive payments because they don’t need to worry about keeping track of cash anymore — instead, they only need to store the information from their customers’ bank accounts.

You may have noticed that payment systems for merchants are often referred to as “payment schemes” or “networks” — what does this mean? Well, for merchants, there are many different payment scopes or networks that they can choose from — and businesses decide which payment system to use based on several factors.

What is SEPA?

The new European Payment System (SEPA) is a payment system that is meant to make it easier for banks to transfer money between each other — particularly between EU member countries. The system is designed to make it easier for banks to process electronic funds transfers, which is important for businesses that want to easily send money to each other. The system also makes it easier for businesses to set up their own merchant accounts. To use the SEPA payment system, you don’t just need to have a bank account; you can simply have an e-money account at payswix. 

What is SWIFT?

Swift is an internationally accepted communications network implemented by banks to facilitate real-time transfers of funds. Like SEPA, Swift is an EU-backed system that is meant to make it easier for banks to transfer money across borders. Swift was launched in 1973 and is now run by SWIFT Europe. Its main appeal for merchants is that it is an internationally-accepted payment system with a lot of support — as opposed to the smaller but more popular SEPA. There are three types of transactions you can initiate using SWIFT:

  • A payment order instructs a bank to transfer a certain amount of money between two banks.
  • An error-free payment is a request to transfer funds from one source to another.
  • A transfer is when you request to have funds directly deposited into your bank account.

How to Set Up a Business Account for Payments Acceptance?

First, you will need to open a payswix account for your business — what kind of account you open depends on your business. You can choose between Business, Business Plus, and Business Exclusive plans.

Then you need to do the registration form where you will be able to put in the details and documents required. Once you will complete all the necessary steps and successfully go through an onboarding process, our team will verify your information and approve the account. There is no exact time frame for corporate account activation.

As soon as we receive your completed payswix application, our team will contact you to discuss the specifics and preferences for your business and afterward will review the information and documents provided. Normally the process takes between 3 to 10 business days and depends on various factors.


Electronic payments have become an increasingly important way for consumers to pay their bills and make purchases. However, these new systems are only meant for merchants — so it’s important for businesses to know how to accept payments through various channels. It’s also important for businesses to understand the various payment systems that are available.

For more information please contact our support +370 (8) 52 07 5750 or email us at [email protected]