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How do you get access to SEPA Direct Debit?

Rob Keating
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Last editedMay 20222 min read

This guide briefly outlines how to set up SEPA Direct Debit and all the available options.

This guide briefly outlines how to set up SEPA Direct Debit and all the available options.

There are four options available for merchants wishing to set up SEPA Direct Debit:

  1. Direct access

  2. Bureaus

  3. Payment Service Providers (PSPs)

  4. GoCardless

Direct access

A merchant may wish to manage SEPA Direct Debit collection in-house. To do this a merchant will need to set up a Creditor Identifier with a preferred bank. For details on getting a Creditor Identifier please see our guide to Creditor Identifiers.

Once granted a Creditor Identifier the merchant will need to ensure that its systems and processes are SEPA compliant. For further details on what this will involve see our guide to getting ready for SEPA. The organisation will also need to ensure that it has the technical expertise in-house to collect, store, submit payment information correctly, and correctly interpret messages from banks. This may require staff hiring and training.

Setting up direct access to SEPA Direct Debit with your bank may involve a time consuming and expensive initial set up. Nevertheless, for large companies with a high volume of payments, the low transaction fees associated with direct access may outweigh the initial set up and overhead challenges and costs.

Submitting Indirectly

If you would prefer for someone else to manage the complexities of collecting SEPA Direct Debit, you can outsource to a third party, such as a Direct Debit bureau. GoCardless can set up and manage SEPA Direct Debit collections on your behalf.

Direct Debit bureaus

There are a handful of UK Direct Debit bureaus that support SEPA - most through partnerships with local European providers. GoCardless is an online SEPA Direct Debit specialist - read on to find out how we can help take the hassle out of SEPA Direct Debit payments.

Payment Service Providers

Payment Service Providers (PSPs) are generalists who aggregate many different payment methods available in different countries. Some PSPs include SEPA Direct Debit as part of their offering, such as Adyen. PSPs are a great way to do multiple payment methods (cards, direct debit, local payment instruments) in one go but they may not support local Direct Debit schemes such as Bacs in the UK, or provide specialist Direct Debit support to customers.

A better solution for SEPA Direct Debit collection: GoCardless

GoCardless is an online SEPA Direct Debit specialist that manages the entire collection process on your behalf. Merchants can manage their payments using our simple online dashboard, connecting to their existing accounting software, or via an integration with our REST API.

GoCardless merchants do not need to update their systems to XML message formats and IBAN/BIC account details. GoCardless will collect IBAN or local bank details directly from your customers, automatically select the correct BIC and will submit, receive, interpret and action bank messages for you. All payment statuses are available in real-time in our dashboard or via our API.

Easily collect payments from your European customers without the need for complicated legal and financial paperwork. Save time and stress as GoCardless makes getting paid from Europe super-simple and hassle-free.

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PreviousSEPA use cases

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