Sepa Migration Action Round Table issues direct debit guidance

Source: Sepa Migration Action Roundtable

The SEPA Migration Action Round Table (SMART) has issued an extended and updated version of its SEPA Direct Debit R-transaction guide at the Sibos conference in Boston.

Against the background that SEPA Direct Debits still witness higher reject and return rates than direct debits under the former national schemes in most European countries, the SMART group continues to provide clarification and recommendations to assist banks in their SDD exception-handling.

“R-transactions are still a number one concern among our corporate customers, especially in the area of SEPA Direct Debits. That is why our SMART guide on this topic continues to be very relevant and we have been digging more deeply into the problems over the past year to better understand their root causes and advise the banks how they can fix them,” said Jan Paul van Pul, Head of Market Infrastructures, ABN AMRO Bank, and Chairman of the SEPA Migration Action Round Table. “We have been very pleased to note improvements in some of the areas our guide pinpointed last year - such as a significant decrease in the usage of the unhelpful reason code MS 03 (“Reason not specified”) - and we hope that this updated version and our future work will help to further enhance customer experience around SEPA payments.”

Issued one year after the SMART R-transaction guide was initially launched at Sibos in Dubai, the extended version of Guidance on the handling of SDD R-transactions and related charging principles contains a new section with guidance on the provision of additional information on R-transaction types to the creditor, a new table describing specific local practices in place in connection with SDD (R-)transactions and a number of updates. The new version of the guide is based on key findings from a survey conducted in April and May 2014 among over 40 financial institutions from 15 European communities.

The mission of the SEPA Migration Action Round Table is to bring clarification to SEPA migration and post-migration issues and to define industry best practices in order to support banks in their interbank and intra-bank handling of SEPA payments, independently of the payment infrastructure they use. The activities of SMART are complementary to the work of the EPC and the forum is logistically supported by the Euro Banking Association.

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