Is there a fee for ACH transfers

Cross-border transfer fees

The euro enables fee reductions

Since July 1, 2003, cross-border bank transfers denominated in euros within the Union have been treated like corresponding payment transactions within the Member States. For the bank customer, this means great savings. The entry into force of this measure is due to a regulation on cross-border payments in euros, according to which the same fees are charged for domestic payment transactions and for corresponding cross-border payments. This provision has been in force since July 2002 for payments with payment cards and cash withdrawals from ATMs; Since July 1, 2003, it has also applied to bank transfers. In recent years, a transfer of 100 EUR has been charged on average with a fee of 24 EUR.

According to the regulation, cross-border bank transfers in euros, for which the recipient's IBAN and BIC are indicated, are treated as domestic transfers. As a result, both the originator of the international transfer and the recipient have to pay the same fees as for a domestic transfer. The regulations of the country in which the account is located are decisive. In the case of a transfer from the Netherlands to Germany, the remitter pays the Dutch fees and the recipient pays the German fees (if fees are charged for receiving domestic transactions).

Conditions a cross-border bank transfer must meet in order to be treated like a domestic transfer

- It must be denominated in euros, must not exceed a value of EUR 12,500 and must be addressed to a recipient in a member state of the Union;
- The IBAN and BIC of the recipient must be indicated on the transfer form of the client (these forms do not correspond to the forms for domestic transfers);
- the client pays the fee requested by him.

If one of the three conditions is not met, the regulation does not apply in which case much higher fees may be charged.

The regulation aims, among other things, to support banks in automating their payment systems. The prerequisite for automation is the use of the international bank account number (IBAN) and the international bank code (BIC). If this information is missing, the transfer cannot be automated.
The IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is the beneficiary's international bank account number. Since the current bank account numbering systems are exclusively national; they do not tell you in which country the account is located. The standardized IBAN provides a remedy: Each account number is preceded by a group of four characters: two letters to identify the country and two numbers that enable the IBAN to be checked in order to avoid transcription errors. The IBAN consists of a maximum of 34 characters, the number being fixed for each country (e.g. 16 characters in Belgium and 27 characters in France.

Belgium BE62510007547061
Denmark DK5000400440116243
Germany DE8937040044532013000
Finland FI2112345600000785
France FR1420041010050500013M02606
Greece GR1601101250000000012300695
Ireland IE29AIBK93115212345678
Italy IT40S0542811101000000123456
Luxembourg LU280019400644750000
Netherlands NL39RABO0300065264
Austria AT617601300035746811
Portugal PT50000201231234567890154
Sweden SE3550000000054910000003
Spain ES0700120345030000067890
United Kingdom GB29NWBK60161331926819

The BIC (Bank Identifier Code) designates the payee's bank. It supplements the IBAN information and usually comprises eleven, in individual cases only eight characters. The BIC is often known as a code or SWIFT address.
The payee must provide the transfer orderer with this information. For this purpose, the ordinance stipulates that since July 1st, bank statements must contain the bank customer's IBAN and the BIC of their bank. This information must also be printed on invoices that are paid using a cross-border transfer.
However, high additional fees have to be paid for cross-border payments for which the IBAN and BIC of the beneficiary are not specified. The regulation expressly provides for the possibility of charging additional fees.

Sanctions for violations of this regulation are the responsibility of the individual member states. According to a principle of Community law, each Member State must ensure that breaches of Community law are punished in a similar way to breaches of national law.

additional Information

Federal Association of Consumer Organizations
Federal Association of Consumers
Markgrafenstrasse 66
Visitor entrance:
Kochstrasse 22
10969 Berlin
Tel .: 030 25 800 0

Complaint offices in cross-border disputes