Single Euro Payments Area

SEPA stands for the Single Euro Payments Area in which domestic and cross-border payments made in EUR are all handled following the same regulations. The long-term aim here is to put an end to any differentiation between national and cross-border payments within Europe.

SEPA enables borderless payments throughout Europe by using uniform payment transaction instruments and standards. The aim here is to allow cashless payments in 33 European states to be effected simply, securely and efficiently, just like domestic payments are made today.

SEPA gives your company new opportunities and enables you to
  • Execute a direct debit on a Euro account anywhere within SEPA
  • Overall, SEPA gives you faster and easier transfers with lower costs

In order to use SEPA Credit Transfers and SEPA Direct Debit payments, you have to adjust your payment solution. Danske Bank is ready to advice you on the strategic impact of SEPA and how to implement the best SEPA strategy for your company.

Read more here:

SEPA – general informationSEPA – general information

How SEPA will impact you

SEPA is a key initiative that has simplified payments and collections across SEPA by introducing a series of common standards and rules.
Depending on your profile, there are various ways to access SEPA.

Read more here:

Factsheet: SEPA for importers
Factsheet: SEPA for exporters
Factsheet: SEPA for groups with subsidiaries in SEPA countries

SEPA Credit Transfers

  • Use IBAN and SWIFT-BIC instead of sort codes and bank account numbers
  • Transfers denominated in EUR only
  • Used for domestic and cross-border payments within Europe
  • Europe-wide crediting of transfer amount to the beneficiary's account within one banking day
  • No amount limits
  • Credit transfers are effected to the full original amount
  • Shared fees - Each individual pays the fees charged by their own credit institute (one item at our bank)
  • Use of XML-based SEPA data format instead of the DTAUS format currently used for voucherless payments
Read more here:

Factsheet: SEPA Credit Transfers

SEPA Direct Debit

  • SEPA Direct Debits enable invoices issued in EUR to be collected by direct debit on their due date
  • Differentiation between single (one-off) and recurring direct debits
  • Used for domestic and cross-border payments
  • Use of IBAN and SWIFT-BIC instead of sort codes and bank account numbers
  • Requires SEPA Direct Debit mandates
  • Current direct debit authorisations can be adapted to SEPA Core Direct Debit mandates
  • A specific due date for collecting the SEPA Direct Debit is determined
  • New presentation deadlines for initial direct debits and follow-up direct debits must be observed
  • Payer's refund entitlements when using the SEPA Core Direct Debit scheme is 8 weeks after the account has been debited
  • No refund entitlements using the SEPA B2B Direct Debit scheme
  • Participation only with new, Unique Creditor Identifier
  • The debtor must be informed latest 14 days in advance of the collection, unless otherwise is agreed (Pre-Notification)
  • SEPA Direct Debits are only available as voucherless transactions
  • Use of XML-based format ISO 20022 XML
Read more here:

Factsheet: SEPA Direct Debit Debtor
Factsheet: SEPA Direct Debit Creditor

SEPA Core Direct Debit vs. SEPA B2B Direct Debit

SEPA Core Direct Debit
SEPA Core Direct Debit is the payment procedure used for handling direct debits in EUR which can be used by all bank customers.

SEPA Core Direct Debit is accepted by all banks.

SEPA B2B Direct Debit
SEPA B2B Direct Debit is the payment procedure used for handling direct debits in EUR which can only be used by corporate clients as beneficiaries and payers.

SEPA B2B Direct Debit is not accepted by all banks.

Getting started

  • Check and adapt EDP systems, processes and interfaces
  • Match DTA, DTAUS formats to new XML format
  • Switch customer identifier from account number/sort code to IBAN / SWIFT-BIC
  • New submission deadlines
  • The communications standard for electronic banking is EBICS
  • Apply for Creditor ID at the German Central Bank
  • Conclude new collection agreement for conducting SEPA Direct Debits with the bank and decide which scheme to use (Core or B2B)
  • Obtain or extend SEPA Direct Debit mandates from clients
  • Amend General Terms and Conditions
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