This practical guide will help you to send compliant SEPA Direct Debit pre-notifications.
A pre-notification informs your customer when they can expect a single payment or regular subscription to leave their account. It is a mandatory requirement of SEPA Direct Debit, and can be sent by email, phone, via SMS, with an invoice or in a letter.
To create fully compliant pre-notifications, you will need to:
- Inform the customer with the appropriate notice period
- Include the amount, due date, mandate reference and creditor ID
- Include your contact details
Throughout this guide the examples are take from the GoCardless pre-notification emails.
1. Email the customer with the appropriate notice period
Why? Gives the customer the chance to ensure they have sufficient funds
How? Send the pre-notification X calendar days, as agreed when the customer set up their mandate, before the payment leaves their account
The pre-notification period agreed with your customer must be no longer than 14 days before the date that the payment is charged. Best practice is to agree to send pre-notifications three working days in advance.
2. Include the amount, due date, mandate reference and creditor ID
Why? Helps ensure the customer recognises the charge on their statement
How? Either send an email before each payment, or give details up front for a fixed subscription
For recurring direct debits of the same amount, such as subscription plans, you only need to inform the payer before the first Direct Debit collection if you include details of all future charge dates (e.g., "first working day of each month"). A new pre-notification is then only necessary if the amount or frequency changes.
Example of a pre-notification for a one-off or recurring variable amount:
Example of a pre-notification for a recurring amount with multiple collection dates:
3. Include your contact details
Why? Makes it easy for the customer to contact you with any queries
How? Include a snippet in each email with your address
SEPA Direct Debit and GoCardless
GoCardless is an end-to-end SEPA Direct Debit provider and can completely handle SEPA compliance on your behalf, or guide you through your own custom integration.
GoCardless can send compliant emails for SEPA Direct Debit on your behalf. We cover all major European languages and automatically send emails in the language of the payer. We automatically send emails three calendar days before a SEPA Direct Debit collection.
If you wish to send your own emails, you can do this with GoCardless Pro. Your Account Executive will support you during your implementation of compliance guidelines.