SEPA Direct Debit is a payment method that allows you to automatically debit money from your customers. You can use this payment method if you want to collect amounts periodically, for example for a subscription or payment in installments. With SEPA Direct Debit you automate these payments, and you do not have to ask the customer every period to pay the amount manually with, for example, bank transfer.

SEPA Direct Debit mandate

Before you can collect money from a bank account, you need permission from the account holder. This authorizes you to withdraw money from his/her account. This is called a mandate. There are two ways in which you can obtain a mandate:

  1. A mandate with a "wet" signature, i.e. which has been signed with a pen.
  2. A mandate with a digital authorization (via Digital Direct Debit Authorization). Currently, Mollie does not offer integration with Digital Direct Debit Mandates, but you can use this via eCurring - a Mollie product.

A customer could make a first payment with, for example, iDEAL, after which you can automatically debit money from the account. This is often used, but it is not an official method of issuing an authorization, which means that the customer will always win a discussion about the validity of the authorization.

What are the benefits of SEPA Direct Debit?

  • Invoices are generally paid faster than when customers have to transfer the amount themselves within an x number of days.
  • Less administrative work, because you automate the process. For this you can use software, e.g. via eCurring (a Mollie product). Read more about how to request SEPA Direct Debit via Mollie.
  • Less chance of customers who cancel their subscription, because the amount is automatically debited from their account every period.

What are the risks of SEPA Direct Debit?

The account holder can reverse a direct debit transaction up to 56 days after the bank account has been charged. An account holder can do this without stating a reason and through his own online banking environment, which makes it sometimes difficult to discover the reason for reversal. Therefore, make sure you communicate clearly when the money will be debited from an account and that there is a clear description on the bank statement of the  account holder.

After these 56 days the account holder can no longer reverse the amount online, but the payment can still be reversed. This is called an Unauthorized Direct Debit Report and can be filed up until 13 months after the bank account has been charged. The account holder has to contact the bank to submit an Unauthorized Direct Debit Report. The bank will check whether the mandate meets all requirements.

Activate SEPA Direct Debit in your Mollie account

You can activate the payment method SEPA Direct Debit in your Mollie account when you go to Website profiles > Payment methods. We will check the application within a few business days. As soon as we have done that, you will receive a message from us.

Want to know more? Read the articles about Recurring via SEPA Direct Debit, where you will find more information about reversals and the processing and settlement of direct debit payments.