SEPA Implementation Timeline

SEPA Implementation Timeline


The SEPA Direct Debit scheme has now been implemented in all eurozone countries. In these countries all Euro-denominated payments must be collected using the SEPA Direct Debit scheme.

The SEPA scheme currently operates alongside national Direct Debit schemes in non-eurozone SEPA countries, including the UK. As such, it is still possible to collect payments through both SEPA and/or a national scheme in these countries. At the deadlines below, SEPA will continue to replace the Euro-denominated national schemes it currently operates alongside.

This guide sets out a brief summary of the implementation timeline for the SEPA Direct Debit scheme.

Key dates for SEPA migration (since August 2014)

Deadline Who does this deadline affect?
1 August 2014 All euro-denominated Direct Debit payments in the eurozone countries must now be routed through the SEPA Direct Debit scheme. This date replaced the initial 1 February 2014 deadline (details below).
31 October 2016 If you are collecting Euro-denominated Direct Debits in a non-Euro area country (including the UK) you must be ready to collect SEPA Direct Debits by this date. As above, national schemes will be switched off at this point. Non-Euro schemes, such as UK Direct Debit, will continue without change.

What happened to the 1 February 2014 deadline?

Earlier this year, a six month transition period was added to the original deadline for switching to SEPA Direct Debit of 1 February 2014.

The European authorities felt that migration rates would not be high enough to ensure a smooth transition to SEPA - by December 2013 only 41% of Direct Debits in the Euro area were SEPA-compliant. Upholding the deadline, and no longer accepting non SEPA-compliant payments, could have led to significant and widespread economic disruption from delayed or disrupted payments.

The deadline was therefore extended to 1 August 2014. This extended transition period meant that non SEPA compliant payments continued to be accepted throughout the SEPA region until 1 August 2014.

As the August 2014 deadline has now passed, SEPA Direct Debit scheme has now been implemented in all eurozone countries. All Euro-denominated payments in these countries must now be collected using the SEPA Direct Debit scheme.

Our guide to getting ready for SEPA (SEPA compliance) will help you to make sure that you are SEPA ready whenever you need to be.

GoCardless and the Implementation timeline

GoCardless allows businesses to take SEPA Direct Debit from anywhere in the Eurozone.

To find out more about collecting SEPA Direct Debits or to register your interest with GoCardless, check out our GoCardless Europe page.

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