EPC publishes further iterations of SDD rulebooks

Source: The European Payments Council (EPC)

The European Payments Council (EPC), representing the European banking industry in relation to payments, today published a further iteration of the SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Rulebooks, i.e. the SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 and the SDD Business to Business (B2B) Rulebook version 7.0.

The SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0, the SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.0 and associated implementation guidelines will take effect on 20 November 2016.

The EPC has traditionally published updated versions of the rulebooks and associated implementation guidelines once annually in November to take effect in November of the next year. Exceptionally, the EPC resolved to publish the SDD Rulebook versions to take effect in November 2016 in January 2015. This decision was made to give payment service providers participating in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payment schemes an extended lead-time to implement principal changes incorporated in the SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.0 prior to them taking effect. The SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 introduces a shorter standard time cycle. Both the SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.0 have been amended to simplify the use of sequence types.

The SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 includes a shorter standard time cycle for the presentation of one-off and recurrent direct debit collections at the debtor's bank. To provide some background on the main change regarding the standard time cycle included with the SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0: the SDD Schemes allow debtors (payers) and creditors (billers) to anticipate the precise date (due date) as to when their account will be debited or credited, respectively. Currently, the debtor's bank must receive the request for a first or for a one-off direct debit collection at least five business days prior to the due date. As of the effective date of November 2016 of the SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0, all collections presented for the first time, on a recurrent basis or as a one-off collection can be presented up to one interbank business day prior to the due date. This change does not impact the creditor as the creditor can continue to use the currently applicable SDD Core collection timelines after November 2016.

The SDD Rulebooks currently require that the payment message sent by the creditor's bank to request a direct debit collection specifies whether the transaction is a first, one-off, recurrent or last collection. These specifications are also referred to as 'sequence types'. The SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.0 have been amended to simplify the use of sequence types by making the sequence type "first" optional. This change does not impact creditors collecting SDD payments.

The SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.0 and associated implementation guidelines to take effect on 20 November 2016 are available on the EPC Website.

The public consultation on possible modifications to be incorporated into next generations rulebooks carried out by the EPC in 2014 identified broad support to amend the SDD Core Rulebook as regards the standard time cycle and both the SDD Core and SDD B2B Rulebooks as regards the use of sequence types. A majority of scheme participants advocated implementing related changes by November 2016 to allow for sufficient time to update processes and operations.

The rulebook release management process applicable until November 2017 is as follows:

The current SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) Rulebook version 7.1, SDD Core Rulebook version 7.1 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.1 remain in effect until November 2015.

The SCT Rulebook version 8.0, SDD Core Rulebook version 8.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 6.0, published in November 2014, will take effect in November 2015. The SCT Rulebook version 8.0 will remain in effect until November 2017. The SDD Core Rulebook version 8.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 6.0 will remain in effect until November 2016.

The SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 and the SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.0, published in January 2015, will take effect in November 2016 and remain in effect until November 2017.

EPC Chair Javier Santamaría comments: "With the publication of the next generations rulebooks, the EPC has ensured planning security for all stakeholders in SEPA for the period 2015 through 2017. The EPC will reach out to all interested parties in the course of 2015 to engage in the next scheme change management cycle. The period for stakeholders to submit suggestions for additional changes to the rulebooks is open and will end on 31 December 2015. These suggestions will then be considered with regard to the SCT and SDD Rulebook versions to be published in 2016 to take effect in 2017." 

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