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:

Reason code



The IBAN is incorrect or unknown. Perhaps the consumer entered his IBAN incorrectly.
Ask the consumer for the correct IBAN.


The account holder has closed the account. We recommend you ask the consumer for a different account. 


The account is blocked for direct debit. This means no money can be written off the account. Therefore, ask the consumer for a different account. 


The information is incorrect. For example, you stated the transaction as a first payment (FRST) instead of a recurring payment (RCUR). Another possibility is that you didn’t use a unique mandate reference.
Resubmit the transaction with correct information. 


There’s insufficient funds. When the account doesn’t have enough money available for the payment, this can sometimes also be indicated with reason code MS03.
Try the direct debit again or contact the consumer. 


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

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

Resubmit the transaction, with FRST, or contact the consumer. 


The direct debit has been reversed. We call this a payment reversal. Payment reversal is possible within 8 weeks after the direct debit date. Do you not know why the direct debit has been reversed? Contact the consumer. 


The consumer passed away. Don’t carry out any more direct debits. This reason can sometimes also be indicated with reason code MS03, which is used for other reasons.


The consumer himself declined the transaction for direct debit in advance. Are you not sure why he did this? Contact the consumer. 


MS03 is used for other reasons. MS03 can sometimes be the result of reasons that already have another reason code, such as insufficient funds. We recommend you to contact the consumer when you see code MS03.  


The bank refused the direct debit. A consumer's bank refuses the transaction when, for example, a limit has been reached or the account has been blocked for direct debit. 


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