The scheme gives both the billers and the business payers efficiency gains thanks to the automation of payment processing, and an improved liquidity, as the bills are automatically paid when they are due.
Scheme participants can find on this page the rulebooks, the Implementation Guidelines ( ), and other relevant documents to implement the scheme in their systems.
The rulebook currently in effect up to 25 April 2023 is the 2021 rulebook version 1.1.
The rulebook in effect from 25 April 2023 up to 19 November 2023 is the 2021 rulebook version 1.2. The version 1.2 has no specific impact on the business and operational rules compared to the version 1.1 of the 2021 rulebook.
The Implementation Guidelines of the versions 1.1 and 1.2 of the 2021 rulebook are based on the relevant ISO 20022 XML message standards.
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The 2023 rulebook version 1.0 enters into force on 19 November 2023 and is applicable up to and including 22 November 2025.
The Implementation Guidelines are based on the 2019 message version of the ISO 20022 standard.
The also published a separate guidance document about the migration to the 2019 message version of ISO 20022.
- To formally enable the
scheme to cater for both retail and Financial Institution-to-Financial Institution payment use cases, the term ‘Customer’ is replaced by the term ‘Payment Service User’ (
) including an appropriate definition for this new term. The definitions of the terms ‘Creditor’ and ’Debtor’ are amended whereby also payment service providers (
) can take up these roles. Related to this, the definition of the term ‘Payment Account’ is changed indicating that such account can be held by a
as well. Also, some obligations of the Creditor
and of the Debtor
in the rulebook sections 5.7 and 5.8 are amended.
- Provision of the structured address of the payment service user:
As of 19 November 2023, payment service users are allowed to send a structured address of the Creditor and/or the Debtor in electronic Customer-to- files based on at least the Customer-to- Implementation Guidelines ( ). From that same date, also scheme participants are allowed to provide structured addresses in their Inter- collection messages and r-transactions.
In view of the above, all scheme participants must be able to support the delivery of structured addresses when payment service users and scheme participants want a structured address in their outgoing and incoming collections. scheme participants cannot reject collections only due to the inclusion of a structured address.
The use of an unstructured address will still be possible and supported by the scheme up to and including 22 November 2025.
As of 23 November 2025, the use of the structured address will become mandatory for Inter- collection messages where applicable, and for payment service users when they send electronic Customer-to- files based on at least the Customer-to- . From that date, the use of an unstructured address will no longer be allowed and will hence lead to rejects.
- Extra clarifications about the charging principles.
Important reminder: back in 2020, the already decided upon the following changes for the 2023 rulebook:
- Migrate all ISO 20022 standard-based XML payment messages used under the
scheme, to the 2019 version of the ISO 20022 standard.
- Align the attribute numbering between the four payment scheme rulebooks as of the respective 2023 rulebooks.
Annex IV of the 2023 rulebook version 1.0 lists all changes since the version 1.0 of the 2021 rulebook.
Clarification paper on SEPA Direct Debit Core and SEPA Direct Debit Business-to-Business rulebooks
The SDD Mandate
Clarification letter on electronic mandates to SEPA Direct Debit scheme participants
Recommendation on customer reporting of SCT and SDD
Guidance on reason codes for SEPA Direct Debit r-transactions
Explanatory note on use of ‘COR1’ and ‘SMNDA’ in SDD R-transactions
SEPA requirements for an extended character set (UNICODE subset) - best practices
Creditor identifier overview
2021 payment threats and fraud trends report