Transferring money

You may need to transfer money to someone in Ireland, the EU or a country outside the EU.

Depending on your bank, the destination and the amount you wish to send, a transfer can be carried out in a variety of ways:

  1. Using phone banking
  2. Using online or mobile banking
  3. At an in-branch kiosk
  4. With a bank teller
  5. On paper by completing a form
  6. A provider other than your bank, like a money transmission service

Transferring within Ireland and Europe – SEPA countries

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) created a standard process for transferring money to another account in Europe.

When transferring money to another account in Ireland or Europe, you will need the IBAN and BIC of the account you are sending the money to.

Depending on the method of transfer, you may also need your own IBAN and BIC. These can be found on your statement, your online banking or by contacting your bank directly.

If you are transferring euro within the SEPA, the funds will be transferred by the next business day. If you are transferring within the same bank in Ireland the payment is generally made immediately, though it may take a few days to reach the account you are transferring to.

Top Tip

Irish businesses cannot refuse to accept a valid international IBAN from a bank account set up in any country within the Single Europe Payments Area (SEPA). If they do refuse to accept your SEPA IBAN, you can report it to the Central Bank if the direct debit is to a financial services provider, like a bank or insurance company. You can also report it to the Central Bank if your employer won’t pay your wages into your SEPA IBAN. For business to consumer transactions (for example a utility company, gym etc.) you can report it to the CCPC.

Will the UK remain part of SEPA following Brexit?

On 7 March 2019, the UK’s application to remain in the geographical scope of SEPA schemes was approved. This means that Euro SEPA payments to UK firms can continue to be made.

Due to the Regulation (EU) 2015/847 (the Wire Transfer Regulation or ‘WTR’), since 1 January 2021, your bank will need to provide additional information when transferring funds to the UK. If you have direct debits in place to recipients in the UK, you will need to ensure your bank includes all additional details required in order to avoid payments being rejected.

For more information see the Central Bank’s website.

Transferring outside Europe

If you are transferring to an account outside Europe, you should be able to use online or mobile banking depending on the amount. If the amount is above the bank’s limit, you may need to go into a branch to carry out the transfer.

Charges for this type of transfer may be higher than transferring within SEPA and it can take slightly longer, from two to four business days. You will also have to think about foreign exchange rates if you are not transferring euro. You can send money as a standard or urgent transfer but again, an urgent transfer will cost more.

In addition to an IBAN and BIC you may need the name and address of the person you are sending the money to and the name and address of the receiving bank.

Whenever you are transferring money, whether within Ireland or further afield, you should always be certain of the receiver’s details and satisfied that you are sending the correct amount. Recalling a payment after it is sent can be very difficult, if not impossible.

There are a number of other methods and companies you can use when transferring money abroad other than your bank. Some of these are online only while others have physical offices or use agents. When selecting a provider to transfer money, you should be certain of their financial status and reliability. You can check the Central Bank’s register to see if the provider is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Online banking and Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)

New EU laws (PSD2) require financial providers (for example banks) to introduce additional security steps to confirm a customer’s identify when they:

  • access their payment accounts online, for example to check their balance or if a transaction has been made,
  • update their personal info online, for example change their address
  • make payments online.

This new process is called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).  In order to access an online account you will need two of the following independent elements:

  1. Knowledge, something only the user knows, for example, a password or pin
  2. Possession, something only the user possesses (key material – like a card reader or mobile phone)
  3. Inherence, something only the user is (fingerprint, voice recognition, retinal ID)

Some transactions will be excluded from this additional step:

  1. Low value transactions, for example those below €30. However, banks can apply SCA if, for example, five transactions have taken place since the last authentication or if the sum of previously exempted payments exceed a certain threshold for example €100.
  2. Low-risk transactions: at the time of payment if a transaction is deemed to be low risk it may be exempt.  An example of a low-risk transaction could be if all financial providers involved in the payment meet specific fraud rate thresholds.
  3. Recurring payments: once set up,  payments of the same value to the same merchant (such as subscriptions and membership fees) are exempt.  However, payments that are made regularly to the same payee, but where the value changes each time (for example, a utility bill), are not exempt.
  4. Trusted beneficiaries: when making a purchase online customers may have the option to whitelist a business they trust to avoid having to authenticate future purchases.
  5. Payments made over the phone are exempt.
  6. Secured corporate payments: some payments made by a business, rather than a consumer, which are processed through a payment system which is deemed to have sufficient controls in place may be exempt.

Payment Service Providers (PSPs)

Traditionally payment transfer were made by financial institutions such as banks.  More recently Payment Service Providers (PSPs), also known as Third Party Providers (TPP), have entered the market and are an alternative to banks if you want to make an online payment.

PSPs based in the EU must be

  • registered
  • licensed
  • and regulated at EU level. Those based in Ireland are registered and monitored by the Central Bank of Ireland.

What role do PSPs play in online payments?

PSPs can be used to make an online payment.  If you wish you can grant them access to your payment account, they can only access your account with your express permission.

PSPs can then

  • make payments on your behalf (credit transfers)
  • and provide you with an overview of your payment accounts.

Granting access to your payment account:

  • When a customer grants a PSP access to their account, the PSP will ask them for various pieces of information.
  • The PSP will then contact the customer’s financial provider.
  • The financial provider will verify the first request with their customer in advance of granting access to their customer’s account.
Top tip
In advance of giving details to a PSP you may wish to check with your financial provider as to what kind of information you should and should not share.
Top tip
If you are concerned that your account has been compromised, you should contact your financial provider / bank immediately

The PSPs will access the customer’s payment account to make payments on their behalf by credit transfer.

What info will a PSP have access to?

Once you provide access to your payment account to a PSP, the PSP will be able to see and access all of the accounts that the customer can see when they log onto internet banking.  However, under legislation, PSPs should only view the payment accounts that the customer has given them permission to access (i.e. current account, credit card, etc.)

Top tip
If you have a joint payment account, it is up to the person who contacts the PSP to ensure that they have the permission of all the other parties to the account(s) before granting access to a PSP.

How do you revoke a PSP’s access to your account(s)?

You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting the PSP directly.

  • All regulated PSPs should provide you with a way of doing this.
  • If after contacting them you are concerned that they are still accessing your account(s), we suggest that you contact your financial provider.
  • Your financial provider can then issue you with new security credentials.
  • When these new credentials are issued, other PSPs will no longer have access to your accounts either.

Types of PSPs

  • Account Information Service Provider (AISP):
    When these types of PSPs access your account(s), they gather information and give you a single view of all of your accounts, even those held with one or more financial institutions. This service is called Account Information Services (AIS). If you give an AISP access to your account, that access lasts for up to 90 days.  Once 90 days passes you will be prompted to re-authorise the access for a further 90 days and so on. This will continue until you withdraw consent from the AISP
  • Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP): when shopping online you can allow a PISP to initiate a payment transfer directly from your bank account.  You do not need to use your debit or credit card.
  • Card Based Payment Instrument Issuer (CBPII): this PSP requests information regarding the availability of funds in your online payment account when making purchases.
Top tip
PSPs may charge fees for their services which are in addition to your banking fees.
Top tip
Credit unions are exempt from the requirements to provide confirmation of the availability of funds and access to their members’ accounts to PSPs.


Last updated on 16 September 2021

Tags: ,