Best practice and some recommendations

Follow the advice in this section to get the best from SEPA DD and avoid some costly mistakes.


  • We recommend that you do not dispatch goods or provide services for an additional five business days after the transaction has been settled. This is to avoid making a loss if the payment is reversed at a later stage. Inform your customers about the delivery time scales to manage their expectations

  • Know Your Customer (KYC), for example, check their credit score before you offer SEPA DD for high Average Transaction Value (ATV) transactions. This is because the customer's bank can reverse transactions after being settled. There is also a risk of a chargeback by the customer after you have dispatched goods or provided the services. In such cases, liaise with your customer and/or use local debit collection agencies to retrieve the funds

  • For recurring transactions - make an agreement with your customer to be able to send a reminder of the upcoming direct debit in advance. It is advisable to notify your customer that you will be collecting the payment two weeks later (or a shorter period if agreed with them). This is known as a pre-notification of a direct debit

  • Have a retry mechanism in place - please be aware that failed payments are not re-tried automatically. Payments can be retried a maximum of three times

  • We don't recommend offering SEPA DD for one-off transactions due to a high risk of a chargeback

  • For one-off or first in series payment requests, you must submit the DD request at least one business day before the payment due/execution date. For subsequent payment collections you must submit the DD request two business days before the payment due date.

  • For transactions returned with the status SETTLEMENT_REVERSED - use this status to improve acceptance by identifying and resubmitting these non-chargeback returned transactions


Refunds offered to merchants on SEPA DD transactions are not part of the SEPA DD Scheme.

Refunds are an additional in-house functionality provided by Worldpay, as the customer that uses SEPA Direct Debit already has extensive rights. The customer's bank can't link the refund transaction to the original SEPA DD transaction; they are only linked within the Worldpay system. This means the customer could chargeback the transaction with their bank and also ask you for a refund. If this happens the customer's bank classifies the transactions as two different unrelated transactions.

So, be careful when you offer refunds. Only offer refunds when absolutely necessary. Only offer refunds to the customers who have been thoroughly KYC'd and for recurring transactions only. Inform customers about likely refund time scales (three business days) to reduce the chance of customer initiated chargeback.

Airlines and travel companies

If you are an airlines or travel company, we strongly recommend that you do not offer SEPA DD if your customer will travel less than 10 business days after they make a SEPA DD payment. Even then there is a chargeback risk after the customer has travelled.