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SEPA Direct Debit

SEPA Direct Debit allow a creditor in a SEPA country to collect direct debits from customers in that country or any other SEPA country1.

  • A pan-European Euro Direct Debit service
  • Only one bank account needed for all European Direct Debit collections
  • Cycle times consistent across all the SEPA countries
  • The two main schemes are SEPA Core Direct Debit and SEPA Business to Business Direct Debit

How it supports your business

  • Streamlines your operations by providing a common set of rules and one message format for domestic and cross-border direct debit transactions within the Eurozone countries
  • Enables you to originate direct debit collections from Barclays locations in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Ireland to debit your debtors in any of the SEPA countries
  • Strengthens cash forecasting, enabling you to accurately predict the date of collections from your customers
  • Shortens the time needed for reconciliation and investigations
  • Helps improve access to European markets by removing barriers to collections from across the EU
  • Provides you with the opportunity to reduce and consolidate bank accounts

What you need to know about SEPA Direct Debit

Creditor Identifier (Creditor ID): Collapsed

Also known as Unique Creditor Reference, the Creditor ID is a unique identifier that allows the identification of one Creditor without ambiguity in SEPA. This identifier distinguishes a legal entity, or an association that is not a legal entity, or a person assuming the role of the Creditor.

This ID can be provided in any SEPA country although different rules can apply. The full details on each country’s specifics are published on the EPC website^ (opens in a new window).

Mandates: Collapsed

  • Mandates are legal agreements between the creditor and the debtor to authorise the transfer of funds between accounts
  • The responsibility for storing the mandates lies with the Creditor
  • Mandate content is consistent for all countries
  • The language of the debtor should be used in all mandates
  • Unlike most existing domestic schemes, the mandate is transmitted between banks with every direct debit transaction
  • All mandates expire 36 months after the last initiated direct debit transaction
  • Without these mandates on record, a collection transaction can be refuted up to 13 months after the transaction date
  • Mandates are simple and easy to complete and are comparable to mandates under current domestic direct debit agreements.

Adopting SEPA Direct Debits: Collapsed

  • Requires use of the SEPA XML 20022 file format
  • Uniform International Organization for Standardization (ISO) return codes for all SEPA countries
  • Adoption of ISO transaction codes
  • Management of SEPA mandate information.

SEPA Direct Debit Core (SDD Core) Scheme: Collapsed

  • The scope of the SDD Core Scheme is collections in Euro, within the SEPA countries, between a business and a consumer or another business (open scheme)
  • A creditor is allowed to collect funds from a debtor’s account provided that a signed mandate has been granted by the debtor to the creditor
  • The SDD Core Scheme can be used for single (one-off) or recurrent direct debit collections and the amounts are not limited
  • The SDD Core Scheme grants payers a “no-questions-asked” refund right during the eight weeks following the debiting of a debtor’s account
  • In the event of unauthorised direct debit collections, the debtor’s right to a refund extends to 13 months as stipulated in the Payment Services Directive (PSD).

SEPA Direct Debit Business to Business (SDD B2B): Collapsed

  • The SDD B2B Scheme enables business customers in the role of debtors to make payments by direct debit
  • Services and products based on the SDD B2B Scheme are only available to businesses; the debtor must not be a private individual (consumer)
  • In the SDD B2B Scheme the debtor (a business) is not entitled to obtain a refund of an authorised transaction
  • The SDD B2B Scheme requires the debtor’s bank to ensure that the collection is authorised by checking the collection against mandate information.

Which countries are in SEPA?: Collapsed

In total, 34 countries are part of the Single Euro Payments Area:

  • 19 EU Euro countries - Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland1, France2, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal3, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain4
  • 9 EU non-Euro countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom5
  • 2 non-EU, Euro countries – Monaco, San Marino
  • 4 non-EU, non-Euro countries - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland

Please note: Andorra, Kosovo, Montenegro and the Vatican City use the Euro as their domestic currency but do not belong to SEPA.

1 Including the Åland Islands
2 Including Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Reunion, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Mayotte, and Saint Barthelemy
3 Including Azores and Madeira
4 Including the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla
5 Including Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man

Which banks are reachable for SEPA direct debits?: Collapsed

The banks that are reachable for SEPA Core direct debits are listed on the EBA Clearing website under STEP2 SDD Core Participants^ (opens in a new window).

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link to download a spreadsheet listing all the reachable banks.

The banks that are reachable for SEPA B2B direct debits are listed the EBA Clearing website under STEP2 SDD B2B Participants^ (opens in a new window).

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link to download a spreadsheet listing all the reachable banks.

Important information

The products referred to in this webpage are subject to separate terms and conditions.

Our SEPA related products 

Barclays SEPA Direct

Optimise the collection of pan-European and in-country Euro Direct Debits and SEPA payments using our end to end, fully managed online system.

SEPA Credit Transfers

Provides the ability to send non-urgent Euro payments within the SEPA area.

Related products

Cash Concentration

Centralise your treasury management to achieve optimised liquidity with automated sweeping through our Cash Concentration tool.


Receive payments through our range of paper-based and electronic services and benefit from the ability to better control and predict your cashflow.


IBANs are essential for European payments and collections. You can generate and validate IBANs with us online.

Talk to us

Find out more about SEPA by talking to your Relationship Director.

New to Barclays? Our experienced UK-based team can listen to your business need, offer assistance on-the-spot or put you in touch with the right specialist at Barclays. Call us on:

0800 015 4242*

Alternatively we can call you back or you can email us with your query.

How can we help?

To discuss switching to Corporate Banking at Barclays, call us on: 0800 015 4242 *