On 26 January 2015, the European Payments Council (EPC) published its Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Direct Debit (SDD) Core Rulebook version 9.0 and the SDD Business to Business (B2B) Rulebook version 7.0. These new versions, together with associated implementation guidelines, will take effect on 20 November 2016 and remain effective until November 2017. The two main changes are as follows:

  1. SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0: As of 20 November 2016, all collections presented for the first time, on a recurrent basis or as a one-off collection, can be presented up to one interbank business day prior to the due date. This change does not impact the creditor, who can continue to use the currently applicable SDD Core collection timelines after November 2016.
  2. SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 & SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.0: The SDD Rulebooks currently require that the payment message sent by the creditor’s bank to request a direct debit collection specifies whether the transaction is a first, one-off, recurrent or last collection (referred to as ‘sequence types’). The new versions of the SDD Rulebooks simplify the use of sequence types by making the sequence type ‘first’ optional. This change does not impact creditors collecting SDD Payments.

The next scheme change management cycle will roll out in 2016/2017. The EPC will engage with stakeholders on suggested changes to the published rulebooks by 31 December 2015. Suggestions will then be considered in respect of the rulebook versions to be published in 2016 to take effect in 2017.

What this means for you

The main changes to the new SDD Rulebook versions are aimed at making the direct debit process quicker and simpler. Stakeholders should submit suggestions to the EPC in respect of future editions of the SDD Rulebook by 31 December 2015.