Why did my SEPA direct debit payment fail?

A direct debit transaction can be rejected up to 5 working days after the direct debit date. If a direct debit fails, you can request the reason why it failed. You’ll receive a reason code, which indicates why the transaction failed. 

For more information about reason codes, please read the Guidance on reason codes for SEPA Direct Debit R-transactions (Version 6.0 / Date of Publication: 22 November 2021) by the European Payments Council.

These are the most common reason codes as defined by the European Payments Council:

Reason code



The IBAN is incorrect or unknown. Your customer may have entered their IBAN incorrectly. You should ask your customer to confirm if the IBAN is correct.


The account holder has closed the account. You should ask your customer for the bank account details of a different account.


Direct debit is not allowed on this bank account. You will not be able to receive direct debit transactions from this account. You should ask your customer for the bank account details of a different account.


Transaction information is incorrect. For example, you may have indicated that the transaction is a first payment (FRST) instead of a recurring payment (RCUR). Another possibility is that you didn’t use a unique mandate reference. You should resubmit the transaction with correct information. 


There’s insufficient funds in the customer's bank account. This can sometimes be indicated with reason code MS03. You can try the direct debit again or contact your customer.


The mandate is invalid. There are several reasons why a mandate could be invalid:

  • The transaction was recurring (RCUR), but there was never a first transaction (FRST).
  • The mandate expired after 36 months.
  • There’s no mandate.

You can resubmit the direct debit as a first transaction or contact your customer to create a new mandate. 


The direct debit has been reversed. This a chargeback and is possible within 8 weeks of the direct debit date. If you don't know why the payment was reversed, contact your customer about it.


Your customer has passed away. You should cancel any future direct debit transactions. This can sometimes be indicated with reason code MS03.


Your customer declined the direct debit transaction before it was processed. If you do not know why they declined the transaction, contact your customer. Make sure they know about the amount and reason for the direct debit to prevent this from happening again in the future.


MS03 can be used for multiple reasons that already have another reason code, such as insufficient funds (AM04). We recommend that you contact your customer to understand what happened to the transaction. 


The bank refused the direct debit. Your customer's bank may refuse a transaction when the customer's daily limit has been reached or if direct debits from the account have been blocked.


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