Implementing a payment between two individuals with accounts in different banks requires information and money to be exchanged between the banks. An infrastructure is required for this to take place in a rapid, secure and straightforward manner. An international infrastructure exists for card payments. For other payments, such as credit transfers, the infrastructure is mainly constructed for payments within one currency area and in one specific currency.
As the major Swedish banks are active in the euro area, neighbouring Nordic countries and a couple of other countries, they can initiate payments themselves in those countries’ payment systems. For example, there is a payment system for euros and, as a consumer, you can often choose to make a so-called SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) payment if you wish to pay in euros to somebody in the euro area. SEPA contributes a joint payment standard for the euro area, which generally makes it equally quick and inexpensive to send money from a Swedish bank to a European bank as it is to make a transfer between two Swedish banks.