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SEPA Direct Debit checklist

Rob Keating
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Last editedApr 20231 min read

A checklist for businesses considering offering SEPA Direct Debit.

You have two options to become SEPA compliant:

  1. Overhaul your payment systems and process to comply with the strict SEPA requirements.

  2. Find a Direct Debit provider like GoCardless who can take care of all of this for you.

If you choose to do the work in-house, the following checklist will help you become SEPA compliant.

1) Review current systems and processes

Ensure messaging formats are SEPA compliant

  • Ability to produce and process XML format.

Ensure processes are SEPA-compliant

  • Ability to store BIC and IBAN, and to comply with SEPA timings.

  • Ensure there are appropriate procedures in place to handle ‘R’ transactions.

How to collect SEPA Direct Debit payments with GoCardless


Create your free GoCardless account, access your user-friendly payments dashboard & connect your accounting software (if you use one).


Easily set up & schedule SEPA Direct Debit payments via payment pages on your website checkout or secure payment links.


From now on you'll get paid on time, every time, as GoCardless automatically collects payment on the scheduled date. Simple.

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2) Obtain a Creditor Identifier

  • Contact your bank to find out what you need to do to become a creditor in the SEPA scheme. (Each bank may apply its own criteria to assess your suitability.)

  • Complete any necessary application and provide any requested documentation.

3) Conversion to BIC and IBAN

Obtain BIC and IBAN details from payers

  • Existing customers' bank identifier numbers and account numbers will need to be converted to the required BIC & IBAN format.

  • External vendors can provide conversion of existing details to the new format.

Validate data

  • Implement algorithms to ensure data provided to banks for processing is valid.

4) Mandate management

Migrate any existing mandates to the Core scheme

  • Review current mandate-related information and assess whether sufficient.

  • Update mandate information.

  • Assign unique mandate references.

Create new mandates for existing Direct Debits for the B2B scheme

  • Create new mandates.

  • Assign unique mandate reference.

5) Customer communications

  • Notify existing customers of your migration to SEPA Direct Debit.

  • Consider how you will deliver subsequent notifications (e.g. collection notifications, rejections, refunds).

6) Testing and Implementation

  • Allow time for a testing phase in the migration phase.

To find out more about collecting SEPA Direct Debit payments, or to register your interest with GoCardless, visit our homepage.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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PreviousHow to get ready for SEPA
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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