Industry Groups Release Latest SEPA Standardization Requirements (Jan. 7, 2014)
The European Payments Council (EPC), which represents the European banking industry in relation to payments, and the Cards Stakeholders Group (CSG), which represents retailers, vendors, processors, card schemes and the EPC, have published the latest version of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Cards Standardization Volume.
The document, Version 7 released today, outlines standards for card-present transactions designed to ensure an interoperable and scalable card and terminal infrastructure across SEPA, according to an announcement available on the EPC and CSG Websites. Stakeholders are not legally obligated to implement the standardization requirements.
“The European Union authorities driving forward the SEPA program identified the need to create harmonized cards standardisation requirements throughout all countries across SEPA early in the process of integrating the market for electronic euro payments,” said Javier Santamaría, EPC chairman. The goal of SEPA is to make cross-border euro payments—whether by credit transfer, direct debit or credit/debit card—as quick, safe and easy as domestic payments through common payment protocols and systems.
Monica Monaco, founder of Brussels-based Trust EU Affairs, which advises clients on relevant EU legislative initiatives, says the document is a strong example to European institutions how industry can self-regulate.
“In the European Parliament, [members] today are drafting amendments to the ‘Payments Package’ as the deadline for presenting such amendments is approaching,” Monaco tells Paybefore. “The release of Volume Ver. 7 contains a strong message from industry to the European institutions about the final content of the Payments Package: ‘The Payments Package final wording needs to be clear and workable for industry.’”