Direct Debit / Electronic Direct Debit Procedure
The direct debit is a very common means of payment in Germany for cashless payment transactions and online commerce. In banking, it is called electronic direct debit, and describes a transaction initiated by the payee (“pull” payment), in which the account of the payer is debited with the payment amount specified by the payee. On the other hand, there is the credit transfer (“push” payment), which is initiated by the debtor obligated to pay.
The electronic direct debit procedure requires the debtor’s consent to the payee to collect money from the payee’s account. This direct debit submission can be made online or via the data carrier exchange procedure. As a rule, this means the direct debit procedure, in which the payer’s bank acts as the paying agent and cannot check the authorization of a direct debit. How does payment by direct debit work?
This is another reason why a direct debit return or return debit note can occur with the electronic direct debit procedure. Reasons for a return with electronic direct debit can be an insufficient funded account of the debtor, a closed account that no longer exists, it is a savings account or the information such as account number and name of the debtor do not belong together. The situation is different with a return debit note, because here the debtor actively objects to the direct debit and the creditor receives a corresponding response from his bank. This is a protection for unauthorized direct debits from the account or in case of, for example, non-delivery or damaged delivery of goods from the online merchant. The period for an objection in the national direct debit procedure is six weeks and is extended to up to 13 months in the case of an unauthorized direct debit.
This means that the online merchant has to bear the costs of a return debit note. This leads to the fact that the demand for payment guarantee with electronic direct debit also increases, in order to be able to offer the popular payment method direct debit as a store operator nevertheless. The merchant can integrate the direct debit procedure directly with his house bank in the store or use the service of a payment service provider, which also automatically displays the receipt of payment.
Direct debit is particularly widespread in Germany and Austria and is a popular payment method on the Internet. In other countries, other cashless payment methods often prevail or electronic direct debit in the sense described above is not possible (e.g. Switzerland). Furthermore, it remains to be seen when and how an electronic direct debit under SEPA can or cannot be used in online stores from January 1, 2014.
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