SEPA Rulebook Updates: November 2015

On 25th November 2013 the EPC released an updated version of the SEPA Direct Debit CORE and B2B scheme rulebooks (to go live next November) and announced a further update for November 2016.

Why are they releasing an update now?

The EPC releases updates each November to ensure that the SEPA payment schemes continue to stay up-to-date with global technical standards, best practice and ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) standards and to reflect feedback received during the public consultation.

What changes do you need to know about?

SEPA Direct Debit Core Rulebook 8.0 and SEPA Direct Debit B2B Rulebook 6.0

SEPA Direct Debit Core Rulebook 8.0 and SEPA Direct Debit B2B Rulebook 6.0 will be effective in November 2015 (in 1 year). In a nutshell the main rule changes outlined in SEPA Direct Debit Core Rulebook 8.0 and SEPA Direct Debit B2B Rulebook 6.0 are:

  1. A change to the mandatory wording in the Mandate The wording will be amended to read: “Alternatively, the mandate may be an electronic document which is signed using a legally binding method of signature.”

  2. A correction to the definition of ‘refusal by the Debtor’ A refusal not to make a payment is always based on a request of the debtor before the due date/ settlement date. The technical R-transaction could be either a reject (which is the preference) or, if technically not feasible before settlement, a return. Only refusals returned by a reject or a return will use the reason code ‘refusal by the Debtor’.

  3. An extension of mandate amendment combinations in AT-24 ‘The Reason for Amendment of the Mandate’. This change will allow creditors to send more combinations of mandate amendment reasons in just one SDD message.

Note: There is a further change to SEPA Direct Debit B2B Rulebook 6.0 which extends the explanation of reason code MD01 to ‘No Mandate or unable to obtain Mandate confirmation from Debtor’.

SEPA Direct Debit Core Rulebook 9.0

SEPA Direct Debit Core Rulebook 9.0 will be published in January, effective in Nov 2016 (in 2 years). The main rule changes proposed for Rulebook 9.0 are:

  1. Shorter timing for payments. Under Rulebook 9.0, all collections presented for the first time, on a recurrent basis or as a one-off collection, can be presented up to one inter-bank business day prior to the payment (instead of five for first and two for subsequent). This will shorten the GoCardless SEPA timings to 5 working days for all payments.

  2. Just one sequence type. The current requirement to use the sequence type ‘FRST’ in a first of a recurrent series of collections is no longer mandatory so you will be able to use 'RCUR' for all transactions.

The various rulebooks can be downloaded here while the changes are explained in further detail here.

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