What is SEPA?

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is an EU initiative to harmonise payments across the Eurozone.


The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is a European Union (EU) initiative to harmonise payments across the Eurozone. Its goal is to make European payments as easy and cheap as domestic ones by creating a single market for euro-denominated payments.

To achieve this, the European Payments Council (EPC) has created three SEPA payments schemes. Each scheme is a set of interbank “rules, practices and standards” that defines a payment instrument:

  • SEPA Direct Debit (SDD)
  • SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT)
  • SEPA Cards Framework (SCF)

SEPA and GoCardless

GoCardless is the online Direct Debit specialist. Merchants can collect and manage their SEPA Direct Debit payments using our online dashboard or simple REST API.

Alongside providing support for SEPA Direct Debit, GoCardless provides access to the UK's national Direct Debit scheme and the Swedish scheme, with other national schemes, including Norway and Australia.

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

‹ View table of contents Next page ›

Latest features

How to set up Direct Debit – a guide for small businesses in Australia

In this guide we'll look at how Direct Debit can help your business. We'll cover the advantages and disadvantages and show you how you can quickly start accepting customer payments this way.

Cash collection causing headaches? 3 ways to automate the way you take payments

Processing, chasing and reconciling payments doesn't have be time consuming. In this guide, we compare three automated payment methods, and identify the pros and cons of each, to help you choose the right one for your business.

How to stop wasting time on cash collection: Five hacks for SMB owners

Sending out invoices, collecting payments and reconciling cash are time consuming tasks – costing SMBs 120 hours a year. In this guide, we’ve highlighted 5 hacks to help your cash collection process run more efficiently.

View all


Reference guides

View all