Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy is home to over 61 million people, making it the fourth-most populous EU member state. With 54 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, Italy attracts a huge swath of foreign travellers each year and ranks as the fifth-most visited country.
With GDP figures of $US1.85 trillion Italy has the third-largest economy in the Eurozone and the eighth-largest in the world. Manufacturing plays a central role in the domestic economy, with the automotive industry alone contributing over 8.5% to Italian GDP each year. The banking system remains a big risk to the Italian economy. Italy’s banks continue to struggle with large portfolios of non-performing loans leftover from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) while the state itself is saddled with massive debts.
The official currency of Italy is the euro. The euro is shared by 19 countries in the EU and its value can be influenced by developments both directly and indirectly linked to Italy. For example, in December 2016 the euro sank against the pound and US dollar in the run-up to the Italian Referendum. The international community viewed the Referendum as a test of strength for the anti-Europe and anti-establishment forces in Italy and feared that a "no" vote would usher in political parties who would look to remove Italy from the EU.
To send money to Italy you’ll need the name on the recipient’s bank account, the IBAN number and the SWIFT/BIC Code. The length of an Italian IBAN is always 27 characters and includes the CAB code, which is a 5-digit number that represents the specific branch of the bank in Italy where you want to send money.
In most cases, FlashFX sends euros to Italy via a SEPA transfer. SEPA (or the Single Euro Payments Area) is the new format for cross-border Euro bank transfers. Its aim is to make euro-denominated transactions in the SEPA area no different to domestic payments in terms of cost and speed. SEPA is similar to PayID in Australia.