SEPA Direct Debit
With the establishment of the Single Euro Payments Area (or SEPA), payment transactions throughout Europe have become more efficient, more secure and more cost-effective. It has been possible to use SEPA transfers since 2008, in addition to the payment procedures currently in use.
The new SEPA direct debit system can be used by more than 600 million Europeans in 33 countries to pay securely and easily for purchases on the internet as an alternative to the use of credit cards or other payment options. In the SEPA direct debit system, the paye¬e initiates the collection of the amount owed from the paye¬r on the basis of an agreement signed by the paye¬r (collection and debit authorisation). However, it is not necessary for the end customer to sign a paper agreement; they can alternatively use a special procedure developed by SWISSgate that enables them to agree to pay using their mouse or the touchscreen of their computer, tablet PC or iPhone/Android smartphone. The only requirements are that the amount owed can be collected through the SEPA direct debit system and that the payer's financial institution participates in this process.
What are the advantages of the SEPA direct debit system?
- Facilitated payment for goods or services in euros within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)
- Standardisation of direct debit processing within SEPA
- Europe-wide direct debit in participating countries. The legal stipulations for SEPA direct debit are harmonised within these countries. (SEPA countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumanian, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK)
- Automatic processes and assignment of chargebacks to the original transaction.
- Excellent data quality thanks to account identification using the IBAN (International Bank Account Number) code and bank identification by means of the BIC (Business Identifier Code)
- Can be used for regular or one-off payments
- Uniform formats (ISO 20022). XML messages are platform- and programming language-independent, so that these can be verified for technical validity.
- Further information on the SEPA direct debit system provided by NASO/ Switzerland
- Further information on the SEPA direct debit system provided by the German Bundesbank
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