A checklist for businesses considering offering SEPA Direct Debit.
You have two options to become SEPA compliant:
Overhaul your payment systems and process to comply with the strict SEPA requirements.
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.
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' Sort Codes 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.
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.