With the SEPA direct debit procedure, the buyer gives the seller permission to withdraw money from his account.
This uncomplicated way of paying for goods or services makes SEPA direct debit the most popular payment method in Germany. In 2018 alone, around 10.6 billion cashless payment transfers were carried out by direct debit.
Who can use a SEPA direct debit?
SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area, so it is a payment method that only works in Europe. In this way, payments within Europe are much easier, cheaper and faster than international transfers. This results in the following guidelines:
- SEPA direct debit is possible in countries in the European Economic Area as well as Switzerland and Monaco.
- The currency is always the euro.
- Buyers and sellers need a European bank account.
How can you sell with SEPA direct debit?
SEPA is a cashless method that can be used for both one-off payments and repeated payments such as installments or subscriptions. The debtor (the buyer) does not make the transfer here himself. The obligee (the seller) gives the order to collect an amount X from the debtor. Since direct debit is a banking transaction, it can take about 6 working days for the money to be transferred.
The prerequisite is that the buyer has previously issued a direct debit mandate. This mandate can be in paper form or digitally.
To sell with SEPA direct debit, you have two options at elopage: either you register as a reseller or you use the elopage PLUS app. As an existing customer with regular income and a low chargeback rate, you can apply for the activation of the SEPA direct debit.
Direct debit payments are possible in these 34 countries
Greece, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Belgium, Ireland, Malta, Croatia, Latvia, France, Luxembourg, Italy, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Denmark, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Cyprus
States of the European Economic Area (EEA): Lichtenstein, Iceland, Norway
Other countries: Switzerland (limited), Monaco, San Marino
Additional advantages of the SEPA direct debit
SEPA direct debit is one of many payment methods, but in Germany it is essential for you as a seller. All a customer needs to be able to pay you is a bank account.
In contrast, credit cards and PayPal are less widespread and not particularly attractive for corporate customers.
Without a direct debit, the majority of your potential customers cannot pay automatically. Prepayment or purchase on account are possible, but SEPA direct debit offers enormous advantages, especially for higher-priced products, installment payments and subscriptions:
- Convenient for the customer
- Direct debit works with almost every bank account
- No limits for sums over 500 euros
- Automatic collection for subscriptions and installments
- Secure payment across Europe
- Customers cannot forget payments
- Popular with corporate customers.