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New Developments in SEPA

Some new SEPA developments are coming up in November - so here’s a quick update on what will happen and what it will mean for you as a merchant taking euro payments using GoCardless.

So what exactly is happening and why?

The rules behind SEPA are changing as a new version is set for release on November 21st 2016.

Currently SEPA COR1 is the main scheme used in Germany, Austria and Spain, while SEPA Core is the dominant scheme elsewhere. The most important upcoming change is that the SEPA COR1 system will cease to exist, while SEPA Core will become faster.

How will these changes affect me as a GoCardless merchant?

Firstly, existing SEPA Core users will benefit from faster payments against new mandates. The first payment from a customer previously had to be submitted to us six days before the charge date. After the change they will only need to be submitted three days before the charge date.

Secondly, we will adjust our system to remove references to SEPA COR1. The details of this are as follows:

  • New mandates will all be created as sepa_core . For API users, if you try to specify sepa_cor1 for a mandate or redirect flow after 4pm UK time on Wednesday Nov 16th we will return an error
  • From the morning of Friday Nov 18th, we will change the scheme on existing mandates in our system to sepa_core regardless of which scheme the mandate was originally created in

What do I need to do?

There will be a transition period where GoCardless will handle everything to ensure a smooth changeover to the new rules. You may see payments showing the message 'pending_submission' for a few days longer than usual - but you don’t need to do anything! We’re just mentioning this to alert you to the possibility.

Of course, the SEPA update is being handled by the banks, so it’s not all in our hands. But we’ll be doing everything we can to make this transition as smooth and as seamless as possible.

When will all this happen?

The changeover day itself is November 21st. Any payments with a charge date after November 21st will be collected under the new rules.

SEPA COR1 has been operating as an extension of the SEPA Direct Debit Core scheme. The COR1 scheme was designed to allow faster payment timings in countries where the required payments infrastructure was already in place. The timings improved to bring the system into line across Europe.

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