As of November 2016, SEPA Direct Debit is a Europe-wide direct debit system that allows merchants to collect euro-denominated payments across accounts in all the 34 countries and territories within the SEPA area (all 28 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, and San Marino). In countries that have implemented SEPA, similar to SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Instant Credit Transfer all euro-denominated payments must be collected via the SEPA payment scheme, and becoming SEPA compliant is a must for operators doing business in Europe. Transact24 can help—our team of SEPA experts has a proven record of getting businesses like yours on track and operating smoothly within the SEPA system.
The SEPA Direct Debit system consists of two separate schemes: SEPA Core Direct Debit and SEPA B2B (business to business) Direct Debit. The Core scheme is the mandatory debit scheme required of all banks conducting euro-denominated direct debit transactions, while the B2B scheme is specifically utilised for direct debit payments between businesses, and may not be offered by all banks operating in the SEPA area.
For businesses operating in the SEPA area, there are factors to consider when choosing which SEPA Direct Debit scheme is right for you. The unique needs of each individual business should be weighed against a few key factors:
If your business expects to be collecting payments from individual consumers or microenterprises, you will need to use the SEPA Core scheme, as it is available for all payers—the B2B scheme is strictly to be used for business-to-business transactions only.
The SEPA B2B scheme does not entitle customers to refunds of authorised transactions. Refunds for unauthorised transactions are only possible if the payer can prove that it did not agree to a B2B payment mandate, and are subject to a 13-month time limit from the date of the debit in question.
The SEPA B2B debit scheme offer a shorter timeline for payment submission (1 day before collection), as well as faster response times from banks in the event of a technical failure or other inability to realise the collection (2 days after collection date).
SEPA Direct Debits are now the standard for businesses operating across borders in the SEPA area, and SEPA compliance is a must for businesses who wish to navigate the wider European market efficiently and successfully. SEPA guidelines allow for cheap and easy transfers, and understanding these guidelines is crucial to operating within the SEPA area. Transact24 has a team of direct debit specialists that can handle your collection processes on your behalf, and we also offer an easy-to-use platform where merchants can manage collections and payments themselves. To learn more about SEPA Direct Debits and making SEPA work for your business, contact Transact24 today.
If you are selling into or within the Euro-zone, and would like to enjoy the many SEPA benefits, SEPA payments are an opportunity for your business. The positive impact on cash flow and cash management arrangements is significant.
Transact24 offers extensive SEPA expertise and can help your business to: