What is the difference between a credit transfer and a SEPA direct debit?

Bank transfers and direct debits are indeed two secure operations that allow the transfer of money from one account to another. Here is some additional information on these operations:


Transfer :

  • The transfer is initiated by the person sending the money, also called the sender.
  • The issuer must provide the necessary information of the beneficiary, such as name, bank account number and BIC/IBAN code.
  • The transfer can be made for a single transaction or can be scheduled to repeat at regular intervals in the case of a standing transfer.
  • Transfers can be made in euros or other currencies, and the associated fees may vary depending on the destination and the amount.


  • The direct debit is initiated by the beneficiary, also called the creditor, with the prior consent of the account holder, called the debtor.
  • The creditor must obtain authorization from the debtor in the form of a signed direct debit mandate, which can be revoked at any time by the debtor.
  • Direct debit can be used for recurring payments such as utility bills, subscriptions, etc.
  • SEPA direct debits are widely used in the euro zone and are subject to strict security and consumer protection rules.

It is important to note that bank transfers and direct debits are subject to the regulations in force in each country and may vary in terms of procedures, costs and processing times.