SEPA Direct Debit standard requires consent for new and standing orders

January 31, 2014  |  Adoption, Europe, Payment, Standards

As of 1 August 2014, companies that charge for their services by standing order must meet the requirements concerning collection and safekeeping of the authorization stipulated in the SEPA regulations.

It is important to note that direct debits by standing order corresponding to new customers implemented without the necessary consent may be subject to return and refund during the 13 months following the unauthorized charge. This is an obligation imposed by the European Union as part of the SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area) initiative to unify and standardize a crucial point in trade and banking relations, namely the obtaining and processing of debit consent.

Single Authorization Reference

Standardization of the system is achieved through the single reference for said consent. This is a 35-position alphanumeric code which is assigned to each consent form and subsequently allows identification of each standing order issued by the customer or debtor.

e-Consent or electronic authorization

The SEPA standard mentions only two possible methods to obtain authorization:

  • Consent on paper with handwritten signature.
  • e-Consent with electronic signature.

The document is an XML file with a series of mandatory fields which will include the debtor’s electronic signature. To be valid, it must be signed with an approved electronic signature.


Many EU businesses related with the utilities sector (water, electricity, gas, telephone companies… etc.) will find their management affected, given the obligation to obtain the customer’s consent to carry out the direct debit from their current account.

For all these businesses, EDICOM has an added value service integrated in its platform for generation and validation of standing orders in accordance with the SEPA regulation.

mandato electronico funcionamiento SEPA SEPA Direct Debit standard requires consent for new and standing orders

Our electronic consent publishing service automates the process of generating, sending and electronic signature of the authorization document.

  • Data taken from client’s ERP to create the e-Consent (XML file) according to the SEPA standard.
  • File transformation into format (PDF) viewable by the client or debtor.
  • Publication of the document in a portal where the client can check the consent authorization.
  • The client receives notice via e-mail to check and authorize the consent form. When the user accepts and authorizes the consent, an electronic certificate is created which applies the acknowledged electronic signature mechanisms as stipulated by law.
  • The signed and authorized consent is safeguarded in the platform as per legal requirements.
  • The resulting document can be integrated with the company’s internal management system.

Find out about our EDICOM SEPA Platform solution.

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