SEPA LOCAL PRACTICES AND IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES*

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1 BNP Paribas SEPA Newsletter Issue September 2013 SEPA LOCAL PRACTICES AND IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES* SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) aims to harmonise formats and processes for euro payments across every country in Europe. However, member states still retain the ability to adapt the SEPA schemes to local market practices. This newsletter summarises the key features of country-specific rules announced by the relevant member states. 1 CATEGORIES Additional Optional Services (AOS) As the term suggests, AOS are optional additions to the standard SEPA payment schemes, usually derived from national market practices, to reduce the impact of migration or ensure that existing capabilities are retained. AOS are established at an individual country level and may relate either to interbank processing or to end customers (e.g. corporations) directly. Banks have the option to support local AOS or not; similarly, corporates can decide if they wish to subscribe to these AOS according to their needs. Payments with a specific purpose Some countries have specific payment types related to legal obligations (e.g. tax payments) or that give the beneficiary access to services such as credit facilities (e.g. salary payments). These specific payment types are only relevant in the country where the practice exists in the local scheme. Ordering parties should evaluate whether they need to integrate these payment types into their payments processing infrastructure on a country-by-country basis. XML format enhancements/restrictions Member states have published local XML implementation guidelines. These guidelines may restrict or extend the format recommended by the European Payments Council (EPC). The SDD migration rules have been established to enable existing mandates for domestic direct debits to be used for SDD. Member states can add specific rules to adapt the migration process to local practices. Creditors wishing to migrate to SDD without having to arrange for new mandates to be signed by existing customers must follow the SDD migration rules for the relevant country(-ies). * This newsletter does not cover the waivers to end-date regulations which member states can request for a limited period of time. See the BNP Paribas SEPA Newsletter (June 2013) for more details. SEPA Newsletter - September 2013 Page 1 of 6

2 2 OVERVIEW OF THE SEPA COUNTRY-SPECIFICS Austria Tax Payments [SCT] In Austria, tax payments must be identified with the code TAXS to be processed correctly by the tax authorities. Special Characters [SCT SDD] Austria allowed the same extra character set as Germany in the DK formats (see Germany section). If customer information contains German characters, it is important to ensure that these are supported by the bank. Cor1 [SDD] A variation of the SDD Core scheme is in use in Austria, SDD Cor1, which has a reduced settlement cycle of D-1. The use of Cor1 must be supported by both the creditor s and debtor s banks. Belgium AOS - Structured Remittance Information OGM-VCS [SCT SDD] The existing structured remittance information will continue in Belgium for both SCT and SDD in the form of a structured tag. This AOS allows companies making payments in Belgium to avoid errors when initiating transactions, therefore also facilitating reconciliation by the payee. Companies active in Belgium should consider implementing this AOS, which involves using the appropriate structured tag in PAIN files. In addition to the SDD migration rules outlined by the EPC, creditors in Belgium must set the original mandate identification and the legacy creditor identifier in the first SDD that is sent based on an existing mandate. SEPA Newsletter - September 2013 Page 2 of 6

3 France SEPA Credit Transfer Reversal (SCTR) - Annulation Comptable de Virement SEPA (ACVS) [SCT] SCTR is a mechanism that allows to reverse erroneously sent SCT transactions, under strictly defined conditions. It may only be used by banks, and not on behalf of their customers. The recall remains the procedure to be used by corporates to cancel erroneously initiated SCTs. Change Account Information [SCT SDD] CAI is a service proposed by banks to ordering parties for both SCT and SDD to notify them of a change to a counterparty s account information. When subscribing to the service, ordering parties that initiate payments with obsolete account information receive a CAI file. This file contains the original (and thus obsolete) account information and the new correct accounts in BIC and IBAN format. This information is transferred through the XML format acmt If a company s original national identifier (Numéro National d Émetteur or NNE) is not contained in its SEPA Creditor Identifier, it must be included in the first SDD sent after the migration of existing mandates using the appropriate tag. Example: Old NNE: New SEPA Creditor Identifier: FRCCZZZ >> No action required New SEPA Creditor Identifier: FRCCZZZ >> Original NNE should be advised in the first SDD Germany DK Format [SCT SDD] From November 2013, Germany will introduce new versions of the SCT and SDD XML message to support German and special characters, known as DK format. This format is more restrictive but complies with EPC recommendations. Companies that need to use German characters should ensure that the bank supports the DK format. DK Formats The DK Format will use a specific format naming: SCT SDD pain pain >>> already available pain pain >>> available as of November 2013, and introduce the support of special characters Cor1 [SDD] Germany uses a variation of the SDD Core Scheme, referred to as SDD Cor1, with a reduced settlement cycle of D-1. The processing cycle for the Cor1 scheme is similar to the existing national direct debit scheme, despite the cut-off time which has been shortened in the morning. Note that in Germany, almost all banks will be reachable via Cor1. SEPA Newsletter - September 2013 Page 3 of 6

4 Ireland There are no specific features that apply in Ireland. Luxembourg Before migrating existing mandates, all creditors (including those outside Luxembourg) must sign a specific annex to the SDD contract to confirm that they are aware of local migration rules. This annex should be provided by the creditor s bank. Creditors must set the date of signature of migrated mandates to (also for subsequent collections), and indicate the value MIGRATION to the End-to-End Identification field. It is also strongly suggested that the creditor requests a SEPA Creditor-ID including his DOM2009 Cetrel creditor identifier and retains current mandate registration numbers. If not, this information must be provided in the dedicated fields. NB: Before migration, creditors should send a request to the relevant banks to confirm that the data held in existing debtor mandates is accurate. This procedure is set out in a document drawn up by Cetrel S.A.: Format des fichiers Mandats pour migration. Italy CBI Format [SCT SDD] The XML format in Italy as defined by the Italian Bank Consortium (CBI) has additional fields and restrictions beyond the ISO XML standard. Every Italian bank will support this format, but there is no guarantee that the generic European ISO XML standard will be accepted by all Italian banks. Companies using local channels to make payments are advised to use the CBI format. Companies operating in more than one European member state, or that are planning to do so, should implement the ISO XML format if accepted by their banks. AOS - SEDA (SEPA Electronic Data Alignment) The Italian Bank Association has announced the AOS - SEDA for SDD Core and SDD B2B schemes. This AOS has been developed to respond to billers need to maintain the same functionality and service levels of the domestic direct debit RID, originally assured by AEA (Allineamento Elettronico Archivi). Amongst its features, SEDA will allow creditors to reduce SDD Rejects/Returns by confirming in advance if debtors IBANs are already held in the mandate. In Italy, creditors must inform their debtors of migration at least one month in advance. The UMR (Unique Mandate Reference) that will be used for a migrated mandate is constructed from the SIA company code, type of RID mandate and the debit customer code. SEPA Newsletter - September 2013 Page 4 of 6

5 The Netherlands B2B mandate confirmation form [SDD] For the B2B scheme, the Nationale Betaalvereniging requires that a specific acceptance form is used. Details can be found on their website, under the Registratieformulier section. It is the B2B creditor s responsibility to send the completed form (including debtor s signature) to the debtor s bank to avoid rejected collections. The Netherlands follow the rules as defined by the EPC, except that creditors must set the date of signature of migrated mandates to 2009/11/01. Portugal Local format [SCT SDD] Portugal has introduced implementation guidelines, called C2B XML, that differ slightly from ISO XML standards. Some optional fields such as the number of transactions and check digit are mandatory under C2B XML, while some mandatory fields for the SDD scheme are optional. Under these guidelines, the counterparty BIC is mandatory, including for domestic transactions. Banks such as BNP Paribas may enrich formats to include this information for their clients. Every Portuguese bank will support this format, but there is no guarantee that the generic ISO XML standard will be universally accepted in Portugal. Companies using local channels to make payments are advised to use the C2B format. Companies operating in more than one European member state, or that are planning to do so, should implement the generic ISO XML format if accepted by their banks. Salary Payments [SCT] In Portugal, bank account holders are able to access credit facilities if they receive their salary payment into their account. Employers should send their salary payments with the code SALA to enable employees to access these facilities. Spain Salary Payments [SCT] In Spain, employers should send Salary Payments with the purpose code SALA. Credit transfers with this purpose code differ from other SCT in that they are treated as confidential instructions and different charges apply. Cor1 [SDD] Spain has announced the use of SDD Cor1, which is a variation of the SDD Core scheme with a reduced settlement cycle of D-1. The processing cycle of the Cor1 scheme is the same as for the legacy direct debit scheme. Companies operating in Spain may wish to use the Cor1 scheme to maintain the same level of service as in the legacy scheme. Cor1 needs to be supported by both the creditor s and debtor s banks, which should not be an issue since all banks in Spain are planning to adhere to the Cor1 scheme. Creditors must set the date of signature of migrated mandates to 2009/10/31. The Unique Mandate Reference (UMR) must be the same mandate reference the creditor used in the legacy scheme. In order for the debtor s bank to identify a SDD transaction based on an existing mandate, creditors must label these migrated mandates as recurrent transactions. SEPA Newsletter - September 2013 Page 5 of 6

6 TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF BNP PARIBAS SEPA EXPERTISE, CONTACT YOUR CASH MANAGEMENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGER. SEPA Newsletter - September 2013 Page 6 of 6

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