The SEPA Direct Debit flow is composed of 3 main steps:
Mandate capture and management
A SEPA Direct Debit mandate has a "lifecycle". Once it has been successfully signed by the debtor, several "events" may occur over time (such as IBAN modification, physical address modification, consultation by a third party, proof management, revocation). A comprehensive, dynamic database and flow management must be implemented.
Before collecting payment from the debtor bank account, several steps must be completed:
- Debtor pre-notification - There is a 14 days notification period (that can be reduced upon debtor agreement). This pre-notification must include the following information: the payment due date, the payment amount, the Unique Mandate Reference and the merchant Creditor Identifier. There is no requirement regarding the method of communication, meaning that this can be done through agreement on General Terms and Conditions (written on an invoice, displayed in an online customer account etc).
- SEPA payment request to bank - This has to be done via a specific .xml file that is compliant with ISO 2022 format and following the correct SEPA Direct Debit sequencing (see SEPA Direct Debit Timeline).
This is the effective part of the collecting, which consists of orders remittance, payment on segregated account but also management of reject and return transactions (unsuccessful charges).