European Central Bank Launches New Board, Replacing SEPA Council (Jan. 2, 2014)
The European Central Bank has created a new board, replacing the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Council, the ECB says will encourage development of an “integrated, innovative and competitive market” for retail payments in euro currency in the European Union.
The Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) will be larger than the SEPA Council—with seven representatives instead of five from the demand side, such as consumers, retailers and corporations, and an equal number of reps from the supply side, consisting of banks and payment organizations, according to a recent announcement. The board, which will be led by the ECB, also will include five representatives from the euro area national central banks and one representative from the non-euro area EU national central banks.
The ERPB is charged with identifying strategic issues and priorities, such as business practices, requirements and standards, and ensuring they are addressed. The announcement of the new board comes about a month before the SEPA migration deadline for electronic payments transactions. The deadline for migration to SEPA credit transfer (SCT) and SEPA direct debit (SDD) schemes is Feb. 1, 2014.
“Retail payments are the backbone of the real economy,” said Benoît Coeuré, member of the ECB executive board. “The integration of the European retail payments market is a natural consequence of the monetary union. It facilitates everyday life for European citizens and also trade, financial integration and market competitiveness in the European Union.”