The recent announcement by the EPC allowing a six month derogation on the use of local EFT file Formats has been followed by a press release from the Irish Payments Services Organisation –  IPSO.

According to the IPSO release, they and their member Banks “continue to aim for completion of the changeover by 1st February 2014.”  It’s not clear if this means that Irish Banks will or must continue to accept and process Standard 18 format files after the February 1st date.

There is very little information around on whether or not Irish Banks will continue to accept Standard 18 format files for Direct Debits after the February 1st deadline. There is currently no commitment that Irish Banks will continue to accept Direct Debit Standard 18 format files beyond this month.

Neither is it clear that all Banks will adopt the same approach. Some Banks may prefer that you switch to SEPA as soon as possible while others may be glad of the extension to the deadline or may even encourage you to stay with the Standard 18 format.

If you are concerned about being able to collect Direct Debits after February 1st, you should contact your Bank and seek clarification on their intentions. It would seem to make sense that where organisations are in the final stages of their switch to SEPA that they would continue to work on completing the project at the earliest possible date.