The Euro, symbolized as EUR, is the official currency of the Eurozone, which consists of 19 of the 27 European Union (EU) member states. It is managed and issued by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Eurosystem, which comprises the central banks of the Eurozone countries.
The Euro was introduced as an electronic currency for banking and financial transactions in 1999, but physical banknotes and coins only entered circulation on January 1, 2002. The goal of the Euro was to create economic stability, foster higher levels of economic growth, and make it easier to do business across national borders within the EU.
Exchange rate regime:Floating
T; T+1; T+2
ECB's Montetary policy
The European Central Bank's primary objective is to maintain price stability, defined as keeping inflation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term. The ECB uses a range of instruments to implement its monetary policy, including interest rate changes, open market operations (buying and selling securities), and offering standing facilities to provide or absorb overnight liquidity.
In recent years, the ECB has also implemented unconventional monetary policy measures, such as negative interest rates and a quantitative easing program, to stimulate economic growth and stave off deflation.
Key Features of EUR
The Euro is divided into 100 cents. Euro coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros. Each Eurozone country can design its national side of the coins, while a common European design is on the other side.
Euro banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros, and share a common design across all Eurozone countries. The designs represent generic European architectural styles throughout the ages, from Classical to Modern times.
The Euro is one of the world's most important currencies, serving not only as the currency for much of Europe but also as a significant reserve currency globally. Its stability is crucial to the world's financial system.
However, the Eurozone's diverse economies can create challenges for managing the Euro. Different economic conditions across the Eurozone can make it difficult for the ECB to set a monetary policy that suits all member states. The ongoing debate about the future direction of the EU and the Eurozone can also create uncertainty about the Euro's future.
The ECB and the national central banks of the Eurozone countries regulate the Euro. They are responsible for implementing monetary policy, issuing banknotes, managing foreign exchange reserves, and ensuring the stability and integrity of the overall payment system.
Financial institutions in the Eurozone must comply with the ECB's regulatory requirements, including robust Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures. They are also subject to regulations set by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and local regulatory bodies.
Key considerations to bear in mind
Payment instructions should contain the beneficiary's IBAN, name, and address.
Payment Processing Time
The time taken for a payment to reach the recipient's bank account can vary. Domestic transfers within the EU are typically processed quickly, while international transfers may take a few business days. Consider the processing time when planning your payment to ensure timely delivery. The iBanFirst Payment Tracker can help you track those payments, and ensure a smooth and efficient payment experience.
Fees and Charges
Banks and financial institutions may apply fees and charges when processing international payments. These fees can vary, so it is advisable to check with your bank to understand the charges associated with your transaction. Check out iBanFirst’s Savings Calculator to estimate how much you could save on your next international payment.
New Year's Day
First Christmas Day
Second Chirstmas Day
Monday after Easter Sunday, varies
40 days after Easter, varies
7 weeks after Easter, varies
iBanFirst S.A. is duly authorised and regulated by the National Bank of Belgium (under CBE number 0849.872.824) as a payment institution. It is a direct member of the SWIFT network and is certified to make payments throughout the SEPA zone. As a payment institution, iBanFirst S.A. only offers hedging solutions (forward, flexible forward and dynamic forward) connected to underlying payment transactions. iBanFirst S.A. does not offer options or any other financial instruments for investment or speculative purposes.