The basics of the European direct debit

Differences from the current direct debit system

  • Contract between the payer and the recipient, instead of a contract between the payer and the payer's bank.
  • Throughout SEPA.
  • For one-off and recurring payments in euro.
  • Direct debit mandates managed by the recipient, not by the bank.
  • The value date of the transaction cannot be earlier than the effective date of the debit.
  • Payment refused if there are insufficient funds in the account when the order is presented.


For example

You want to pay your phone bill by direct debit:

  • You give your service provider a direct debit mandate for the amount of the bill on your account.
  • The provider asks its bank to present the direct debit order to your bank in the normal way.


Better protection for the payer

  • Refusal of payment: you can refuse a payment as soon as you are notified that your account is going to be debited. In this case your bank will not process the withdrawal.
  • Disputed withdrawals:
    • Your bank is obliged to repay you the disputed sum within a period of eight weeks. You do not have to provide any justification for the repayment.
    • After these eight weeks and up to a maximum of 13 months after the transaction, you can still dispute the transaction if there was no mandate or the mandate was not valid. Your bank will not repay you automatically - only if it is proved that there were good grounds for the dispute.


You are still obliged to pay the recipient either way. This obligation only expires if, after investigation, it is clear that your request for a refund was justified.

The basics of the European direct debit


Products you may be interested in: