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Created on 21.12.2020

Cashless international payments: how do they work in each country?

As a small company, do you have to make cashless international payments from time to time? Various transfer methods come into play depending on the destination country and currency.

Wherever your business partners call home, Giro international SEPA, Giro international and Giro international urgent ensure payments are easy and on time. And the most convenient part is that e-finance automatically suggests the best payment method.

The graphic shows the various ways of making payments abroad. For international payments in euros, it depends on whether the payment is to be made within or outside the SEPA area. If it is for within the SEPA area, Giro international SEPA is used; outside the SEPA area, Giro international is needed. Payments in all currencies outside the SEPA area are also made using Giro international. Giro international urgent is suitable for all urgent international payments.

Do you have an invoice that needs to be paid in the SEPA area?

If an invoice from a supplier or service provider needs to be paid in euros, the important aspect is whether the recipient country is within or outside the SEPA area.

In SEPA, 36 European countries (including Switzerland) have so far come together to form a payment area in which cashless payments in EUR can be processed in a uniform way. SEPA stands for “Single Euro Payments Area”. The following countries are members:

All 27 EU countries

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden


  • Andorra
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Monaco
  • Norway
  • San Marino
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City

Useful to know

  • Transfer time: credited within a maximum of one banking day from the debit date
  • SEPA payments are free of charge in e-finance (recipient banks may however charge a fee to their customers for incoming payments; PostFinance has no influence over this)

Do you have an invoice in euros outside the SEPA area or in any other world currency that needs to be paid?

Giro international can be used to make payments around the world in all currencies – including payments in euros outside the SEPA area. There are various options for regulating fees (options for charges):

  • charges to recipients/shared cost: when making transfers abroad, fees are incurred that may be collected by the banks involved. These fees are usually charged to the beneficiary, i. e. fees are deducted from the amount. The beneficiary therefore does not receive the full credit transfer amount.
  • Charges paid by the client/our cost: all third-party fees for transferring money to the recipient bank are payable by the client as part of a flat fee of CHF 20 (plus basic price). The recipient bank is credited with the full amount.

Payment currency tip

With Giro international, the client decides in which currency the amount should be credited abroad. The standard procedure is for the amount to be converted into the currency of the destination country. Crediting the amount in CHF (payment currency CHF) is worthwhile only if the end beneficiary’s account abroad is a CHF account.

Useful to know

  • Transfer time: within two to four banking days from the debit date
  • Costs per transfer: CHF 2 via e-finance

Your first steps to making an international payment in e-finance

You can complete your international payments very conveniently using e-finance. How it works:

  1. Log in to your business account
  2. Select Payments -> Enter payments -> Enter recipient data
  3. Now select the right payment method (if a SEPA payment is possible, this is shown automatically)
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