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This guide explains what a Creditor Identifier is and how to get one.
A merchant must have a Creditor Identifier to collect SEPA Direct Debit from payers. A Creditor Identifier is a unique reference which identifies each SEPA Direct Debit originator. If you are familiar with domestic UK Direct Debit, it is the equivalent of a Service User Number (SUN).
This guide explains what a Creditor Identifier is and how to get one. You may also want to read our guide to getting access to SEPA Direct Debit.
What is a Creditor Identifier?
A Creditor Identifier is a unique reference for organisations collecting payments by SEPA Direct Debit. It must be included in each SEPA Direct Debit collection and allows the payer and the payer’s bank to:
Verify each SEPA Direct Debit
Request refunds or make complaints
Check the existence of a mandate when a payment is requested
Merchants can also use a “Creditor Business Code” extension to identify different business activities. This code allows a merchant to identify different business lines or different services. It is not needed to identify a mandate in a unique way, but contains useful information for the merchant and for the customer.
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.
Collecting payments from European customers can be complicated and expensive!
Getting a SEPA Creditor Identifier
You can get a SEPA Creditor Identifier in one of two ways:
1. Via your preferred bank
Contact your bank to start the process. They will be responsible for its generation. You may need to meet certain criteria set by the bank (similarly to with SUNs). It is likely that banks will look for the following key requirements:
Management expertise to enforce the SEPA Direct Debit scheme rules, minimise submission errors, and maintain the reputation of the scheme.
Financial reserves to refund any chargebacks. Under the UK Direct Debit scheme, these reserves must be placed in a surety bond.
Contractual capacity to indemnify the bank against any payments charged back.
2. Via GoCardless
GoCardless enables you to use our master Creditor Identifier to collect from your customers, or to use a Creditor Identifier in your name. This Creditor Identifier can then be used in any SEPA country for any scheme and whichever bank you collect through.