How to make the switch to SEPA Direct Debit


Merchants within the Euro area may hold existing Euro-denominated Direct Debit mandates under their domestic legacy Direct Debit schemes.

For example, a French merchant may already hold domestic Direct Debit mandates under the French legacy Direct Debit scheme. These existing mandates will need to be updated or replaced to reflect the new SEPA Direct Debit rules.

This guide will explain the steps you should take to migrate your existing Euro-denominated mandates to SEPA Direct Debit. If you would like to use this as an opportunity to switch Direct Debit providers you may also find our guide to transferring mandates helpful.

What will happen to existing Euro Direct Debit mandates?

Core Scheme

Existing Euro Direct Debit mandates will remain valid under the SEPA Core Direct Debit Scheme. Existing refund conditions will continue after the deadline.

Mandates will not need to be signed again provided they are updated with the following additional details required by SEPA:

  • The Creditor Identifier
  • The Unique Mandate Reference
  • The payer's IBAN and BIC
  • A signature date
  • A statement explaining that it is a SEPA mandate
  • A statement from the payer authorising his bank and the payee to withdraw money from his or her account

To make these updates incorporate the above details in your Direct Debit electronic records. These details will then need to be included with the mandate related data in the next, and each subsequent, payment request. No modification of the physical mandate is required.

All mandates together with any modifications or cancellations must be stored by the merchant or a contracted third party.

B2B Scheme

To migrate existing Euro Direct Debit mandates to the SEPA B2B Direct Debit Scheme new mandates will need to be completed. This is due to the absence of refund rights under the B2B scheme. The new mandate will need to comply with the SEPA mandate rules. It will need to explicitly state that the payer waives his right to a refund for authorised collections.

Migration with GoCardless

All new Euro-denominated Direct Debits set up with GoCardless are SEPA compliant.

If you are a merchant and would like to use this opportunity to switch to GoCardless as your SEPA Direct Debit provider see our guide to Transferring Mandates.

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