Guidance on reason codes for SEPA Credit Transfer R-transactions

The European Payments Council (EPC) released version 5.0 of the document ‘Guidance on Reason Codes for SCT R-transactions’ in November 2023. It applies to the current applicable 2021 Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Credit Transfer (SCT) rulebook and the 2023 SCT rulebook entering into force on 17 March 2024.

To give some background: one of the main benefits of the SCT scheme 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 an SCT transaction include rejects, returns, recalls and requests for recall by the originator (commonly referenced as ‘R-transactions’ and described in detail in the SCT rulebook). 

The SCT rulebook specifies reasons which trigger an R-transaction or an SCT inquiry, i.e. data elements required to convey information to the payer (Originator) regarding the R-transaction or the SCT inquiry. These data elements identify the type of the R-transaction or the SCT inquiry; name the initiator; and detail the reason for the R-transaction or the SCT inquiry.

The correct application of these reason codes by a Beneficiary Payment Service Provider (PSP) (the PSP of the payee), informing an Originator PSP (the PSP of the payer), about a failed SCT transaction or an SCT inquiry is crucial to allow the Originator to determine its reaction. Therefore, SCT scheme participants must apply the specific SCT R-transaction or inquiry reason codes as described in the rulebook when reporting a failed SCT transaction or an SCT inquiry.

Section 3 of the document provides guidance to SCT scheme participants about the reason codes to report specific SCT transaction issues.

The only changes covered in version 5.0 concern editorial changes in section 1. 

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