The SEPA Direct Debit Mandate - you will just love it

The SEPA Direct Debit Mandate - you will just love it

EPC provides guidance on the creation of easy-to-use SEPA mandate forms

20 April 12

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Streamlining the Mandate

The Core Direct Debit (SDD) Scheme Rulebook version 3.2 defines the rules for the content of mandates (section 4.7.2 - The Mandate). The illustration of the mandate as it appears in the Rulebook features the most comprehensive layout possible. In actual usage, however, the mandate form may be streamlined in a number of ways without losing any essential content whilst still remaining compliant with the Rulebook. In many cases, the mandate form itself does not have to include all the information required for the authorisation of a Direct Debit provided that this information can be obtained from other sources. It also needs to be kept in mind that most of the information included in a mandate can actually be supplemented by the creditor himself and may as such already be part of the mandate form he creates. Customers who complete and sign such forms will eventually provide virtually the same information on a mandate as in any mandate issued under most legacy direct debit schemes today. Contrary to rumors stating otherwise, the mandate is in fact an easy-to-use tool for debtors and creditors alike.

To bring greater clarity on this point and to illustrate how a mandate form provided by creditors to their customers might actually look like, the has issued a guidance document containing practical information on how selected mandate information may be used in various situations (see the document "Guidelines for the Appearance of Mandates"). To actually visualise a user-friendly mandate form, please click on the PDF below.

Translating the Mandate

The website also features translations of the SEPA Mandate text as specified in the Core Direct Debit Scheme Rulebook into the languages.

The decided in principle to launch the Direct Debit Schemes in November 2009. It is therefore recommended that creditors offering direct debit as a means of payment start taking action now to design the mandate forms which will best meet their own needs and the expectations of their customers.

Using existing mandates under the Direct Debit Scheme

In many countries, mandates that were issued by a debtor under existing national direct debit schemes do not conform to the Mandate. To facilitate the change-over to the Direct Debit Scheme, however, it is imperative that millions of mandates in place today can indeed be used under the Scheme, at least for a transition period. For further information on mandate migration, see also the article "Facing the Facts" in this newsletter.

Meral Ruesing is a staff member at the Secretariat.

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