The debit system is still an extremely popular method of payment. Find out what you have to take into consideration when offering this payment method.
The SEPA direct debit mandate is a crucial instrument of the SEPA direct debit procedure. The mandate instructs a credit institution to collect payment orders from the debtor's account, and it allows payees (creditors) to redeem direct debit orders at the debtor's bank. The SEPA direct debit mandate may be transmitted by the customer to the creditor in writing by form, electronically with secure signature or by email or fax in compliance with the written form. Another type of mandate is the e-mandate of the EPC (European Payments Council).
An electronic mandate is obtained online and holds the same validity as the paper mandate. The electronic document must be signed with a qualified electronic signature. The electronic signature is assigned exclusively to the signatory and enables its identification by the bank of the direct debit holder (creditor). The electronic signature is only valid if it was created in a secure way, which is solely the responsibility of the debtor, for example on a sign pad. In terms of content, the written form of the electronic mandate must comply with the specifications of the EPC. It must contain the consent of the payer to the direct debit collection by the payment service provider of the payee. Furthermore, the text of a basic direct debit mandate must alert the debtor to the possibility of an eight-week direct debit return. This instruction does not apply to the SEPA B2B Direct Debit. The electronic SEPA direct debit mandate, as well as the paper-based one, must always be issued in the national language of the debtor. If this is not known to the payee, a mandate in English is also admissible in case of doubt.
The bank of the creditor submitting the direct debit decides on the admissibility of electronic mandates. Crucial for this are the contractual conditions between the payee and his payment service provider. In case of dispute, the vendor is always obliged to prove the legitimacy of his debit claim or direct debit. The electronic mandate is valid until revoked by the customer or vendor. However, if it is not used for at least 36 months, the validity of the electronic mandate expires. A direct debit by the payment service provider of the lender is no longer permitted from this point in time.
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