Depending on your residence and your bank there are several ways to make a local or an international FIAT bank transfer. Most banks offer SEPA, CHAPS, SWIFT and Faster Payments (FPS) and BEQUANT supports all of them to make your transfers secure, quick and cost-effective.

The payment types serve different purposes - SWIFT network is mainly used for cross border transfers of any currency, while if you need to make a large sum GBP transfer inside the UK, you would be using CHAPS. On the other hand, for a small local GBP payment to a friend the FPS transfer would be the way to go. Within the EEA a SEPA euro (€) transfer would be the optimal choice. If you would like to delve a bit deeper into each of the transfer types and understand the reasoning behind our FIAT fee structure please read on.

CHAPS transfers

The Clearing House Automated Payment System or CHAPS has been introduced in 1984 by the Bank of England. It is a sterling (GBP) same-day system used to settle critical high-value wholesale or retail payments like buying or paying a deposit on a property. CHAPS is not normally used for low value transfers because of the higher cost of processing the payment, hence our fee for the transaction. However, if you have to make a payment of over £10,000 and want it settled immediately, CHAPS is your best option.

Faster Payments (FPS) transfers

The Faster Payments System or FPS has been available in the UK from 2008 and is typically used for low value but almost instant GBP transfers between UK bank accounts. This would be the method you'd normally use to send your friend money using their account nr. and sort code at almost no cost.

BACS transfers

Banker's Automated Clearing Services or BACS payment system has been in existence for over half a century within the UK. While BACS supports GBP high value transfers of up to £20 million, the settlement period is typically longer, around 2 to 3 days. In the UK, BACS transfers are widely used for direct debits, the UK's preferred method of settling salaries or utility bills. While BACS transfers are the cheapest to execute (almost free), their slow speed and the marginally higher cost of FPS transfers make Faster Payments a much better option for UK domestic transfers. Therefore we do not support BACS.

SEPA transfers

The Single Euro Payments Area or SEPA has been introduced in 2008 as an European Union initiative to simplify bank transfers denominated in euro (€) within the EEA. To process a SEPA payment you typically only need an IBAN issued by a bank that participates in the SEPA scheme, which today comprise most banks within the EEA. This transfers can be both high and low value and typically settle the next business day. The cost of processing a SEPA transfer is low.

SWIFT transfers

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, is a network that allows banks to communicate financial information securely. This transfer service is typically used for cross-border international transfers and sometimes involves a series of banks as the process often includes foreign exchange (FX) operations. It is usually the most expensive transfer method as, together with an upfront admin fee charged by your bank, intermediary banks may add their fees too including any foreign exchange fees. Despite the cost, SWIFT transfers are widely used in the US for both domestic and cross-border transfers of USD. They take 2 to 5 days depending on the currency and country of origin.

Transfer type matrix

SEPA

SWIFT

FPS

CHAPS

EUR (€)

high value

low cost

1 to 2 days

high value

expensive

2 to 5 days

-

-

USD ($)

-

high value

expensive

2 to 5 days

-

-

GBP (£)

-

high value

expensive

2 to 5 days

low value

cheap

same day

high value

expensive

same day

For information on associated fees please see FIAT deposit/withdrawal fees.

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