To ensure that your institution or beneficiary receives your payment in full, you must bear all fees associated with the transfer, which are payable to your bank in addition to the amount you send.
Most banks impose a fee for initiating a transfer, but the potential fee amount depends on your bank and any intermediary banks involved. SEPA payments (transfers within the Single Euro Payments Area) are usually cost-effective or fee-free. However, if in doubt, always inquire directly with your bank about whether and to what extent they charge fees for transferring your funds. Always inform your bank that you will bear all fees associated with the transfer before initiating the payment, either by contacting the bank directly or by indicating this when completing an online or in-branch transfer request.
For a SWIFT international transfer, Field “71A” of the form provided by your bank asks who will bear the resulting transfer fees. “OUR” should be selected in order to avoid the bank imposing additional fees for the transfer after the payment is completed.
The following explains what each option means:
OUR – It is expected that the transfer fees will be paid before initiating the transfer. This means that the full transfer amount will be sent to the beneficiary. By choosing this option, you are protected against insufficient payments to your institution.
BEN – It is expected that the recipient of the funds will bear the transfer fees. This means that all fees will be deducted from the amount you transfer. As a result, less money will be received by the recipient, leading to a reduced payment to your institution.
SHA – It is expected that the transfer fees will be shared. This means that a portion of the fees will be paid before the transfer, and another portion will be deducted from the transfer amount before reaching the recipient. As a result, less money will be received by the beneficiary, leading to a reduced payment to your institution.
In rare cases, a bank or credit institute may have a special arrangement and/or instructions regarding fee details that override the “OUR” (pre-)selection. In case of doubt, please inquire directly with your bank to ensure that no transfer fees are charged to the beneficiary and the full amount will be wired.