How to send reference for non-SEPA online banking transfers


I went through the FAQ in detail. Then I tried to get answers via in App support, but after 3.5 hours they had failed to answer two simple questions.

My key question is how do I communicate the reference number when my bank says the contents of the ref field will not be processed for non-SEPA payments - the payment is in CHF and therefore non-SEPA. To be clear I can enter the reference, however a message in online banking says: “The payment reference is only relevant for the payment order SEPA. This field is not processed for all other payments (Payment orders SEPA are only possible for payments in EUR)”

The second question is daily transfer limit. In App support could not answer this. This means that I have to take a shot in the dark and hope my transfer is not over some unknown limit. This could mean multiple failed transactions costing me both time and money. So how do I find out my daily transfer limit?

I’m hoping one of the Team Revolut users in this forum can help answer these two question.

@elmarconi do you know if the reference code works for non-SEPA payments? When I try to send CHF from a CHF UBS account my online banking says: “The payment reference is only relevant for the payment order SEPA. This field is not processed for all other payments (Payment orders SEPA are only possible for payments in EUR)”

Hidden fee - CHF transfers?
SWITZERLAND - Most cost-efficient top-up methods (2017 - outdated)

Okay, there might be a simple solution for your first question. “Reference” or “End-to-end reference” how the SEPA nomenclature is for this field, is indeed something that is unique to the SEPA data format. But do you have another form field where you would put in an invoice number or something like that? It might be “Verwendungszweck” with a Swiss online banking. That should work as well for your reference code.

(Additional information about SEPA transfers: SEPA transfers are not limited to EUR! In fact, all official national currencies of all SEPA member countries are supported by this standard. SEPA is not about the currency but about an international standard where banks agreed on a data format, how they would transmit the payment informations, to make national standards compatible with each other, to make something like an international direct debit possible. If both parties that are involved in a transfer use the proper SEPA data format, a CHF SEPA transfer is of course possible. It looks to me like your bank “just decided” not to use the SEPA standards here.)


Hi Frank, thanks for this. The only reference fields available are:

Payment reference (which the bank says won’t be processed for non-SEPA payments)
Reason for payment (which only shows up on my account statement)

Neither of these are transferred to the beneficiary according to the bank.

I am guessing Revolut needs this reference to assign the money to me. Without it I’m guessing the money will end up in no mans land so it’s rather critical.

…and I’ve still heard nothing from Revolut on this point.

It’s a pity because the idea is good but in practice it’s dead. If I can’t get money on to the card and no one can tell me how to do it then the card is useless.

According to my bank (UBS) and the ECB website, SEPA is only for EUR payments: As you say though there is unlikely to be any technical reason why banks couldn’t do it for all currencies. They could use the same format. Their IT is set up for it. Some banks could very well be choosing not to use SEPA so they can still charge high fees.


Hm, honestly, that sounds weird to me. How would one pay an invoice if there is no way to fill in an invoice number? This seems to be pretty standard and mandatory for every type of wire transfer. Even for the most exotic kind of international wire transfer. Especially for SEPA transfers.

I would use the search in this forum. Here are more customers from Switzerland with UBS accounts. Maybe you could figure it out with their help.

Your assumption is right, the reference code is needed to allocate your money to your Revolut account. It will not end up in nirvana, the customer support can allocate your money manually when you forgot the code (happens all the time, you won’t believe it), but that extends the time for the transfer considerably.


Hi guys,

Interesting conversation here. I must agree with @Phil6 that SEPA really only works for EUR here in Switzerland. Unfortunately, I don’t have any clue how the transfer with the “Verwendungszweck” works. I have a German bank account as well and did my last transfer from there (EUR to UK).

Sorry und e schöne Obe,


So I also have a swiss account and I can specify additional informations (which won’t be sent to the recipient) and remittance information which will be transferred over. If you don’t have 2 options call UBS and they will help you out, there should be a way to send the reference number along with your transfer.

As for the limits: there is an annual limit for the top-ups including wire transfers and above 10k€ or equivalent in another currency they might request further documents before Revolut deposit the money on your account.


@zwt many thanks. I’ll call UBS.


OK so I called UBS and they said enter the reference number in the field “Reason for payment”. This field shows up directly after the amount in e-banking. It turns out that the information in this field is communicated to the recipient.


Glad you could figure it out :slight_smile:


I am sorry Frank, but SEPA actually IS about the currency - EUR. National currencies are NOT SEPA currencies, yet all EEA member countries are part of SEPA when they transact in EUR currency only.


@expatier yes, sorry, that was wrong, it is about the EUR, right. But as far as I understand it banks can use the SEPA framework to handle other currencies. Like routing a GBP payment via IBANs. And if a DKK customer with a DKK account sets up a direct debit with a French merchant, it can be handled with the same data standards. Regulation does not apply and there will be a fee for currency conversion of course.


Hi Phil

Let us know how the transaction goes - i.e. if you can confirm that the reference number is passed on to Revolut. I am in the same situation as you are…



@dandi The money (CHF) left my account on Tuesday morning and was added to my Revolut balance (CHF) on Wednesday afternoon. I put the reference number in the field “Reason for payment”. The full amount sent was credited. I’m expecting a CHF 5 charge from UBS at the end of the month.