The new Fixed Amount Direct Debit Scheme ( FA)
The new Scheme will apply the default regime defined in the Payment Services Directive (PSD) with regard to refund rights; e.g. the refund right is excluded in cases of authorised transactions when the exact amount of the direct debit collection is agreed between the payer (debtor) and the biller (creditor). This option is contingent upon the payer (debtor) and the biller (creditor) having agreed the exact amount and the frequency of collections in the mandate. The mandate to be signed by a payer (debtor) authorising a biller (creditor) to collect payments under the new Fixed Amount Scheme will clearly highlight the difference to the Scheme as regards the exclusion of the refund right in case of authorised transactions to avoid misuse of the "no-refund" feature.
In the event of unauthorised direct debit collections, the payer's right to claim a refund as stipulated in the PSD extends to thirteen months. Naturally, the right to a refund in case of an unauthorised transaction during a period of thirteen months is granted to the payer (debtor) also under the new optional Fixed Amount Scheme, in full compliance with the PSD.
The mandate to be signed under the FA Scheme will specify the exact amount of the collection as well as the frequency of the collections. If the biller (creditor) collects a different amount than the amount stated in the mandate, or if the biller (creditor) diverts from the frequency of collections agreed in the mandate, the payer (debtor) can make a claim for a refund citing a case of an unauthorised transaction.
Public consultation on the latest version of the Fixed Amount Scheme Rulebook
The latest version of the FA Rulebook (see link included below) was approved by the Plenary at its meeting on 24 March 2010 as being fit for a six-week public consultation launched at the beginning of April 2010. Since this new Rulebook is based on the already-established Rulebook (see link to the Rulebook version 3.4 included below) with changes only to the texts and processes covering refunds, this consultation only addresses those changes listed in Annex V of the FA Rulebook. During the consultation period, the legal review will also be completed.
Stakeholders are invited to participate in the online consultation and to forward their response using the response template posted on the web site (a link to this template is included below). Deadline for submitting comments to the is 13 May 2010.
Javier Santamaría is the Chair of the Payment Schemes Working Group.
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