sepa direct debit

direct debit scheme

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From 1 February 2014, all direct debits are made via European SEPA (Single European Payment Area) system.


As a professional, institution or association, you are either:

  • the creditor: i.e. the party initiating the direct debit from your professional or individual clients, or
  • the debtor: i.e. the client responsible for paying the direct debit to your supplier


In the case of a direct debit payment: the debtor (client) authorises the creditor (supplier/service provider), by means of a mandate, to debit invoice amounts from their account.




European SEPA direct debits or SDDs (SEPA Direct Debits) feature the following characteristics:

  • they cover all payments in EUR within the SEPA area (28 EU countries + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland)
  • the creditor and debtor are bound by a mandate and, from now on, it is the creditor who is responsible for the mandate. The creditor is therefore in charge of executing the direct debit with BGL BNP Paribas.
  • the debtor must inform the creditor should a change be made to the mandate (e.g. new account number)
  • there are two types of direct debit:
    • B2C (Business to Consumer) or Core: for individual and professional debtors
    • B2B (Business to Business): for professional debtors only


Advantages for the creditor:

  • optimise your cash management: choose the dates on which payments are made, etc.
  • your direct debits are executed and received through your BGL BNP Paribas bank, irrespective of the SEPA country in which your debtor is established
  • save time and reduce costs by streamlining your payments


e.g.: a Luxembourg mobile phone company receives invoice payments by SDD from clients residing in France on its BGL BNP Paribas account under the same conditions as invoice payments from its clients residing in Luxembourg.

Advantages for the debtor:

  • an easy way to pay invoices in the 33 SEPA area countries
  • optimised monitoring of your accounts by ordering all direct debits to be made from the same BGL BNP Paribas account
  • better protection in the event of a dispute: you have the right to an unconditional reimbursement within eight weeks (only where a mandate exists between private clients and a professional creditor: B2C), and within 13 months in the event of an unauthorised direct debit


e.g.: you can pay the GSM invoices of your French branch's sales employees by direct debit from your BGL BNP Paribas account to their French mobile phone company under the same fee conditions as if you were making a payment in Luxembourg.



To find out more about setting up or managing your European SEPA direct debits, contact our payment teams by email by here or arrange an appointment with your branch advisor.



*Topics covered: SDD technical rules, channels and deadlines for sending files to the bank, description of formats, migration diagrams, question and answer sessions


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