What checks should be carried out before generating a batch for SEPA (Europe only)

What checks should be carried out before generating a SEPA direct debit batch

Check that Mandate ID and Mandate Date are populated, as required by SEPA

  1. Create a gift query with the criteria
Gift Type one of Pledge, Recurring Gift
AND Gift Status one of Active, Held
AND Pay Method equals Direct Debit
AND ( Mandate ID blank
OR Mandate Date blank )

On the output includes fields that would be helpful to check results are correct.
For example, the fields used in the criteria plus EFT?
If the direct debit should be sent electronically to SEPA then EFT? box should be ticked, otherwise the transaction will not be included in the Transmission file.
  1. Depending on the number of records in the results, you may decide to correct these manually or see How to populate Mandate ID and Date to globally update records.

Check that no invalid characters present - for example in the bank details

Currently the list of published characters accepted by SEPA is -
a b c d e f g h I j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z - both upper and lower case for these characters
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
/ - ? : ( ) ' @ # *
Euro currency symbol

However, to support local characters used in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, and Germany, beyond the Latin character set referred to above, the following characters are supported
Not to be used in SEPA payments or Cross border payments to other than the referred countries:
á ä ç é í ó ö ú ü ý æ ø å Á Ä Ç Ð É Í Ó Ö Ú Ü Ý Æ Ø Å ß% & = @ §

Note that these lists are subject to change and you should check with your Sponsoring bank for any updates

Therefore, at this time, characters such as & are not accepted.
If present in the SEPA file then the bank would reject with the message:
Failure - Uploaded file does not conform to the supported format for this transaction OR incorrect Bulk Transaction ID is used.

To check for instances of & present in Bank Account Name, which is the field included in the SEPA file:

  • Create a constituent query with the criteria Relationships, Banks, Bank Account Name contains &
  • On the Output tab include fields such as Constituent ID, Name and bank details.

Update the bank relationships for any constituent who appears on the results, to replace & with and, for example.

The & is used above as an example of a character that is not accepted by SEPA.
If you are aware of other characters that you use which are not present on the list of accepted characters, then the query steps should be repeated for those characters.


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