SEPA Direct Debit (SDD)

SEPA Direct Debit Business to Business Scheme (SDD B2B)


On this page, you find the SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.3 and associated documentation.

The SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.3 is in effect until 19 November 2017.

The version 7.3 of the SDD B2B Rulebook remains unchanged from a functional or technical point of view, i.e. changes introduced into this version have no operational impact whatsoever. The version 7.3 of the SDD B2B Rulebook contains as main change an updated version of the SEPA Scheme Management Internal Rules (SMIRs), which describe the internal organisation, structure, rules, and processes that make up the scheme management of the SCT and SDD schemes.

The implementation guidelines relevant to the SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.3 are based on the 2009 version of ISO 20022.

The SDD B2B Rulebook and associated documentation to take effect on 19 November 2017 are available on this EPC Website page: 2017 SDD rulebooks.

The SDD B2B scheme enables business customers in the role of payers to make payments by direct debit. The SDD schemes offer businesses significant efficiency gains through the automation of payment processing and the ability of businesses to optimise the cash management process. The latter can be achieved by businesses consolidating accounts currently maintained in different European countries, so that all payments are managed in one single account, thereby centralising liquidity.

The SDD schemes facilitate the expansion of businesses across national borders by introducing a standardised payment infrastructure. The SDD schemes therefore support trade across the European Union internal market. Innovative end-to-end SEPA solutions, based on global standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), will also lead to decreased IT costs, streamlined back office functions and simplified reconciliation. The economy as a whole will also benefit if invoices are paid when they are due. The business community depends on reliable cash flow and the SDD schemes enable the biller to collect payments on the exact due date.

The SDD B2B scheme, in particular, fully supports the intra-European supply chain management of companies on the financial side.

It is optional for payment service providers (PSPs) to offer services based on the SDD B2B scheme.

The differences between the SDD Core scheme and the SDD B2B scheme:

  • Services and products based on the SDD B2B scheme are only available to businesses; the payer cannot be a private individual (consumer).
  • In the SDD B2B scheme the payer (a business) is not entitled to obtain a refund of an authorised transaction.
  • The SDD B2B scheme requires the payer's PSP to ensure that the collection is authorised by checking the collection against mandate information. The payer's PSP and the payer are required to agree on the verification to be performed for each SDD B2B collection.
  • Responding to the specific needs of the business community the SDD B2B scheme offers a reduced return period.

SDD B2B scheme mandate confirmations

The EPC published the document ‘Guidance for SEPA Direct Debit Business to Business Scheme Mandate Confirmations’ (see links included with the ‘EPC technical documents’ below). This document addresses the SDD B2B mandate confirmation requirements and operational implementation thereof prescribed in the SDD B2B Rulebook. The guidance aims to support scheme participants, i.e. PSPs that have formally adhered to the SDD B2B scheme, to comply with the mandate confirmation requirements defined in the SDD B2B Rulebook.

The document also reiterates that each SDD B2B mandate is identifiable based on the ‘unique mandate reference’. This mandate reference is assigned by the creditor (biller). It is recommended that the creditor indeed assigns unique, i.e. distinct, mandate references to separate mandates signed by the same debtor (payer) to authorise collections under the SDD Core and the SDD B2B schemes, respectively. The risk of not following such practice is that debtors who wish to block a collection by providing the unique mandate reference will block all other direct debits having the same mandate reference.

Observing the principles reiterated with this EPC guidance document should contribute to reducing the occurrence of R-transactions under the SDD B2B scheme triggered in the event that the debtor bank does not obtain the required mandate confirmation from the debtor.

(For more information on R-transactions, refer to the section, entitled ‘Use of SDD R-transactions reason codes’ below.)

Use of scheme options

The SDD B2B Rulebook provides PSPs participating in the scheme with the opportunity to offer optional scheme features. The Dutch Payments Association announces that Dutch PSPs support an e-Mandate solution: “Incassomachtigen” both for SDD Core and SDD B2B. For more detailed information please see or contact info@betaalvereniging.nlThe list of participating banks (debtor and/or creditor banks), Routing and Mandate Service Providers is available through Participating banks and RMSPS.

Use of SDD R-transaction reason codes

One of the main benefits of the SDD schemes is that the scheme rules streamline exception handling, at both process and dataset level. This allows straight-through-processing and automated exception handling end-to-end. Possible exceptions to the normal execution of a direct debit collection include refunds, returns, rejects, refusals and reversals (commonly referenced as R-transactions). The SDD rulebooks specify reasons which trigger an R-transaction, i.e. data elements required to convey information to the payee (biller) with regard to the R-transaction. The correct application of these reason codes by a debtor bank, (the bank of the payer), informing a creditor bank, (the bank of the biller), about a failed SDD collection is crucial to allow the biller to determine its reaction. Scheme participants, i.e. PSPs that have formally adhered to the schemes, are therefore reminded to apply the specific SDD R-transaction reason codes described in the rulebooks when reporting a failed collection. More information can be found in the document ‘Guidance on reason codes for SDD R-transactions’ (see links included with the ‘EPC technical documents’ below).

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