It is the document a payer must sign and send to the biller in order to authorise the biller (via its payment service provider or PSP) to collect the funds directly from the account of the payer. The SDD mandate can be issued in a paper or electronic format.
The EPC provides billers with a number of tools facilitating the creation of templates for SDD mandates (for both the SDD Core and SDD Business-to-Business or B2B schemes), and ensure that they are user-friendly and compliant with the SDD rulebooks.
SDD mandates are signed by all kinds of payers: individuals, businesses, and more. It is therefore important that they remain easily understandable and as short as possible. The EPC has issued a guidance document containing practical information on the visual presentation of SDD mandates. Any biller can use these guidelines to issue streamlined mandates (both paper and electronic). They suggest a number of ways to reduce the mandate size without losing any essential content and while remaining compliant with the SDD rulebooks.
The PSPs offer their SDD services to billers and payers in most European countries in which dozens of different languages are spoken. To make it easier for billers across SEPA to issue SDD mandates while still ensuring their clarity and compliance with the SDD rulebooks (available in English only), the EPC has translated the SDD mandate text into all SEPA languages.
The SDD rulebooks include the option of issuing electronic mandates, often referred to as e-mandates. They are increasingly popular thanks to their convenience for both the payer (who does not have to print, sign and mail a document to the biller) and the biller (who enjoys automated processing and easy electronic storage and retrieval of e-mandate data). One way to make it secure involves the widely trusted online banking services used by the payer to authenticate themselves and electronically sign the mandate.
More information is available in the Clarification letter on electronic mandates to SDD scheme participants, and in the Clarification paper on SEPA Direct Debit Core and SEPA Direct Debit Business-to-Business rulebooks.