RBS Provides Online Cross-border SEPA Direct Debits

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) has launched single euro payments area (SEPA) Direct Debits (SDDs) via Bankline, the bank’s online banking service for UK clients. With SDD origination, organisations no longer require multiple bank accounts or a range of complex payment instruments to make cross-border collections across Europe.

Over the past six months, RBS has worked with various clients to bring this solution to the market. Harlands Services are a Bacs processing company and have for sometime been seeking expansion opportunities across Europe. Until SEPA, trading in any country other than the UK meant that they would need to adopt the legacy SDD processing system in each country, which was operationally inefficient and limited business expansion plans.

Kevin Scott, sales director from Harlands Services, said: “SDD now offers us the opportunity to seek numerous clients across the EU; the flexibility will clearly make Harlands stand out in the crowd of direct debit providers limited to a single country or legacy platform.”

Like Harlands, Esendex, a UK business SMS supplier, was rapidly growing its European operations. The need to have local banking arrangements across Europe was inefficient and a potential constraint on further expansion. Moving to SEPA has improved Esendex’s cash collection process in Europe and means it can offer an SDD solution throughout the region without the need to apply for local bank facilities.

Catherine Russell, financial controller from Esendex, said: “The bank identified the solution and provided valuable IT support and expertise to enable us to undertake our first French and Irish collections under the SEPA system. They worked alongside our finance team and solutions for accounting, who provided our accounts system and the technical aspects for creating the SEPA files.”

Wilco Dado, head of global payments, global transaction service (GTS), RBS, said: “The RBS team has worked closely with both Esendex and Harlands to provide innovative, automated solutions that allow for business expansion and provide massive efficiencies in cross-border trading and improved working capital management processes. Our customers can now benefit from enhanced cash flow control, account consolidation, improved reconciliation and streamlined business processes across Europe as we continue to rollout our SEPA solutions.” SDD origination enables customers to benefit from:

  • Automation of their collection processes so less manual intervention is required.
  • Working capital optimisation as funds are received more quickly.
  • Enhanced control with the ability to upload, authorise and track the status of all collections online.
  • Customisation according to users needs through Bankline.
  • Payment simplification through an automatic currency conversion service.


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