SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) will harmonise national and cross-border retail payments to create a common euro payments area. The existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by SEPA until 01.02.2014 for euro area and until 21.10.2016 for non-euro area. Technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro are described in Regulation (EU) No. 260/2012. Mandatory technical standards for all payment service providers (PSP) are IBAN, BIC and ISO 20022 XML.

32 countries in Europe participate in SEPA
– EU countries, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco

Payments are settled via the participants accounts held at Deutsche Bundesbank.

Deutsche Bundesbank charges a fee of €0,0025  per data  record for retail payments (SEPA, DTA) submitted by credit institutions (CI) via data telecommunication.

SEPA payment schemes: 

SEPA payment schemes as defined in SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Rulebooks contain sets of rules and technical standards (instruction manuals) for the execution of SEPA payment transactions by payment service providers (PSP).

SEPA Clearer:

SEPA payments (Credit Transfer, Core Direct Debit, B2B Direct Debit) processed in SEPA-Clearer of the Retail Payment System (RPS) of Deutsche Bundesbank. Non SEPA compliant payments in DTA format or SWIFT FIN messages MT 103+ are processed directly in RPS.

Core Direct Debit and B2B Direct Debit:

B2B direct debits are not possible to return (comparable with current debit order “Abbuchungsauftrag”).

Creditor identifier and Mandate reference

SEPA Direct Debit Scheme (introduced 02.11.2009) contains provisions for the creditor identifier (max. 35 characters, in Germany max. 18 characters), which enables a clear identification of the creditor without making reference to an account. It is forwarded together with the Mandate reference of the direct debit creditor to the debtor within the SEPA data set.

For more information:

(cf. Deutsche Bundesbank, ECB, 2012)

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