What does SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) mean for consumers? V 1.3

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1 What does SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) mean for consumers? V 1.3

2 1 SEPA for consumers in a nutshell What is SEPA? SEPA = Single Euro Payments Area The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is the area where citizens, companies and other economic actors can make and receive payments in euro, within Europe, whether within or across national boundaries under the same basic conditions, rights and obligations, regardless of their location. 32 countries in Europe The geographical scope of SEPA covers the 27 European Union (EU) member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Monaco. Why SEPA? SEPA is the next logical step following the introduction of euro notes and coins in 2002: SEPA payment instruments enable consumers to smoothly exchange electronic euro payments between any accounts in the SEPA area, just as it is the case within national borders at present. How does SEPA benefit consumers? In SEPA, consumers can rely on one bank account to make euro payments across 32 countries while enjoying highly competitive services provided by banks. In addition, SEPA drives forward technological innovation in payments empowering consumers to take advantage of many new features. As a result, the process of paying bills will be even more convenient. For example a Luxembourg student studying in Germany could pay his rent with his existing Luxembourg bank account. SEPA payments are always in Euro Both accounts, of the consumer making a SEPA payment and of the biller receiving this payment must be located in one of the 32 SEPA countries. The accounts may be in euro or in another currency.

3 Who makes SEPA happen? Everybody has a responsibility to make SEPA a reality. Public authorities, including the European Commission and EU governments, create the conditions that support the transition of bank customers to the new SEPA payment instruments. The European Central Bank (ECB) and the National Central Banks of those EU Member States, which have adopted the euro also play an important role in the SEPA process: the ECB and the National Central Banks actively monitor the progress of SEPA through close dialogue with the political authorities, the banking industry and payment services users. The banking industry, cooperating in the European Payments Council (EPC), is delivering the new SEPA payment instruments. Most importantly, SEPA will become a success once bank customers embrace the new SEPA payment instruments. The domiciliation nationale system will stop operating by February 1 st, The creditors will have the possibility to migrate the existing legacy mandates to SDD mandates, without having the debtor signing a new mandate. European Union Regulation defines mandatory deadlines for migration to SEPA In February 2012, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Regulation No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 (the SEPA Regulation), which defines February 1 st, 2014 as the deadline in the euro area for compliance with the core provisions of this Regulation. Effectively, this means that the Luxembourg domiciliation nationale will be progressively replaced by the SEPA Direct Debit.

4 2 SEPA Direct Debit Domestic and crossborder payments It can be used for domestic payments, from and to accounts located in Luxembourg. It can also be used for cross-border payments, from an account in Luxembourg to an account located in another SEPA country. SEPA Direct Debit payments can be made from any account offering direct debit services. The account may be in euro or in another European currency but the transaction between the 2 accounts is always in Euro. It is not necessary that the recipient of the payment (the biller) has an account in a SEPA country having already adopted the euro as its national currency. Benefits of SEPA Direct Debit for consumers One-off direct debits are those where the authorization is given once by the Debtor to collect only one single direct debit. This authorization cannot be used for any subsequent transaction. Control over the payment The SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) offers convenience for consumers in so that they do not have to deal with the consequences of late payments. The SEPA Direct Debit also enables the consumer to know exactly when his account will be debited. Fast and simple refund procedure Consumers enjoy a fast and simple refund procedure when making payments by SEPA Direct Debit. Refunds may be claimed within eight weeks of the debit date for authorized transactions and within 13 months for unauthorized transactions. Convenient and secure The SEPA Direct Debit provides a convenient and secure means of paying bills throughout the 32 SEPA countries. Recurrent versus one-off direct debits The SEPA Direct Debit offers two types of mandates. Recurrent direct debits are those where the authorization by the Debtor is used for regular direct debits initiated by the Creditor.

5 3 The SEPA Direct Debit mandate The SEPA Creditor mandate flow The Creditor manages the SDD mandates This means: (1) The payer completes and signs a paper-based mandate and (2) sends it directly to the biller. The biller is responsible for storing the original mandate, together with any information regarding amendments relating to the mandate or its cancellation. Consequently all amendments and cancellations must be notified by the Debtor directly to the Creditor. The SEPA Direct Debit is based on the so-called creditor-driven mandate flow (the creditor is the biller). This model is different from the current domiciliation nationale system in Luxembourg: In the current model, the payer s bank receives mandate from its customer (eventually via the creditor) is responsible for checking the right of a biller to collect payment from a payer s account. Consumer protection The SEPA Direct Debit builds on the same business assumptions and basic trust between the parties involved that is, the payer, the biller and their payment service providers as the domiciliation nationale and ensures complete consumer protection. no-questions-asked refund right The SEPA Direct Debit is fully aligned with consumer rights as defined in the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD). Even exceeding the requirements of the PSD, the SEPA Core Direct Debit grants consumers a no-questions-asked refund right during the eight weeks following the debiting of a consumer s account; e.g. during this time any funds collected by SEPA Direct Debit will be credited back to the consumer s account upon request. In the event of an unauthorized direct debit collection (no mandate), the consumer s right to a refund extends to thirteen months as stipulated in the PSD. Further to the refund right, the consumer has the right to - refuse, before due date, the collection of direct debits related to a specific mandate, - block any direct debits to the payer s payment account, - limit the amount or the periodicity of a direct debit collection, or both 1, - block any direct debits initiated by one or more specified payees or authorize direct debits only initiated by one or more specified payees 1. 1 Comes into force in February 1st 2014

6 The SEPA Direct Debit paper mandate The SDD mandate contains a list of 15 mandatory elements defined by the authorities. Unique Mandate reference Name of the Debtor Address of the Debtor Postal code/city of the Debtor Debtor s country of residence Debtor s account number IBAN The BIC code of the Debtor Bank Creditor company name Creditor s identifier Creditor s address street and number Creditor s postal code and city Country of the Creditor Type of payment Signature place and time Signature(s) The layout of the mandate is not specified. It is up to the Creditor to ensure the mandate information is clearly legible. The Mandate must have a clear heading entitled SEPA Direct Debit Mandate. The heading of the mandate must contain the following mandatory legal text: By signing this mandate form, you authorize (A) {NAME OF CREDITOR} to send instructions to your bank to debit your account and (B) your bank to debit your account in accordance with the instructions from {NAME OF CREDITOR}. As part of your rights, you are entitled to a refund from your bank under the terms and conditions of your agreement with your bank. A refund must be claimed within 8 weeks starting from the date on which your account was debited. Please complete all the fields marked

7 The transition from domiciliation nationale to SEPA Direct Debit in Luxembourg All banks that offer domiciliations de créance offer also SEPA Direct Debits as a mean of payment to their customers. As from February 1 st, 2014, all direct debit collections must be SEPA Direct Debits. Until then, each creditor may decide for himself from which date he will accept payment by SEPA Direct Debit and have his customers sign the new SEPA Direct Debit mandates. Regarding existing legacy mandates, the creditor may choose to cancel them and arrange with his customer for a new SEPA Direct Debit. Or he may choose to migrate the existing legacy mandates to the new SEPA Direct Debit mandates according to the procedure set up by the Luxembourg banking community. The EU Regulation N 260/2012 provides for the legal comfort for maintaining the validity of the mandate, avoiding unnecessary administrative burden for the creditor and the consumer. Migrating of existing legacy mandates The Luxembourg banking community has established a migration plan to ensure a smooth migration to SDD and minimize impacts to consumers. A smooth process for the consumer Your creditor takes the initiative. He manages the migration of your mandate to SDD. As a consumer, you don t have to handle any administrative formality. Consumer notification The migration plan requires that the creditor has to inform the consumer about the migration of an existing national direct debit mandate to a SEPA direct debit mandate. Signing a new SDD mandate The Creditor can decide not to migrate existing legacy mandates to SDD. In this case, he requests from the consumer the signing of a new SDD mandate. This mandate is based on a SEPA mandate format as described above. In Luxembourg, creditors have the possibility to migrate existing mandates to SDD as of October For more information about SEPA direct debit, please visit the following websites: The Luxembourg Bankers' Association (ABBL) The European Payments Council (EPC) The European Central Bank (ECB)

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