Effective from February 1st 2014, the existing Irish EFT scheme (Standard 18) for handling Credit Payments and Direct Debits will be replaced by a new European wide scheme known as SEPA. 

Some key differences that will arise under SEPA:

  • BIC and IBANs will replace Sort Code and Account Numbers on all Transactions
  • All Transactions will be denominated in €Euro 
  •  Accounts may be located in any country within the SEPA region

In addition for Direct Debitors there are many additional requirements to the scheme:

  • You will need to get a new SEPA Creditor ID to replace your existing Originator Number (OIN)
  • There will be new timelines for submitting Direct Debit Files to Banks. First presentations of Direct Debits are currently expected to be submitted six days in advance of the collection date.
  •  You must give 14 days advance notice of Debit Transactions unless a shorter period has been agreed with your Debtor 
  • There will be a new automated process for failed / returned transactions
  • Consumers will be entitled to additional protection measures for Direct Debits providing “no quibble” refunds for up to eight weeks and full refunds up to thirteen months in the event of an unauthorised or invalid Mandate
  • You will be responsible to retain and manage all Mandate related documents and to reproduce them in the event of a dispute

As well as the changes outlined above, implementation of SEPA will introduce two new file formats; SCT for Credit Payments and SDD for Direct Debits; replacing the current “Standard 18” format files.