SEPA Credit Transfer
SCT / SDD Rulebook Release Management and Scheme Development
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payment schemes, as set out in the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Rulebooks, evolve based on a transparent change management process adhered to by the European Payments Council (EPC). This evolution reflects changes in market needs and updates of technical standards developed by international standards bodies, such as the International Organization for Standardization. The principles governing the evolution of the SEPA Schemes are set out in section three of the SEPA Scheme Management Internal Rules (see below).
The scheme change management process provides all stakeholders with the opportunity to participate; i.e. to introduce suggestions for changes to the schemes. Any proposed changes to the schemes are subject to a three-month public consultation. Proposed changes to the schemes that find broad acceptance in the entire stakeholder community are taken forward. Change requests that lack such broad support are not - regardless whether such a change is proposed by a payment service provider or a user representative.
EPC rulebook release management - important notice to all SEPA stakeholders: effective date of SCT and SDD Rulebook versions published in November 2012 will be 1 February 2014!
The EPC publishes updated versions of the rulebooks and associated implementation guidelines once annually in November of each year. These updated versions normally take effect in the third week of November of the following year. In accordance with industry best practice, payment service providers and their suppliers therefore have sufficient lead time to address rulebook updates prior to such changes taking effect.
Based on the established release management cycle, the SCT Rulebook version 7.0, SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and SDD Business to Business (B2B) Rulebook version 5.0, published in November 2012, would normally take effect on 16 November 2013.
SEPA stakeholders however are currently working towards achieving compliance with the 'Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009' (the SEPA Regulation), which defines 1 February 2014 as the deadline in the euro area for compliance with the core provisions of this Regulation. Effectively, this means that as of this date, existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by SCT and SDD.
As a result, the EPC decided to postpone the effective date for the SCT Rulebook version 7.0, SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.0, from 16 November 2013 to 1 February 2014. This allows market participants sufficient time to adapt their systems and operations to comply both with the SEPA Regulation and the updated version of the rulebooks.
The next scheme change management cycle takes place with the publication of new rulebook versions in November 2014. These rulebook versions will take effect in November 2015
Based on the established scheme change management cycle, the EPC would normally publish the next version of the rulebooks, i.e. the SCT Rulebook version 8.0, the SDD Core Rulebook version 8.0 and the SDD B2B Rulebook version 6.0, in November 2013 to take effect in November 2014. This would however force stakeholders to update systems and operations twice within one year considering that the rulebook versions published in November 2012 will take effect on 1 February 2014.
To avoid duplication of costs and efforts within one year and to provide planning security to all stakeholders based on stable rulebook versions in the period following migration to SCT and SDD in the euro area, the EPC decided in December 2012 to postpone publication of the next generation rulebooks (SCT Rulebook version 8.0, SDD Core Rulebook version 8.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 6.0) and associated implementation guidelines to November 2014. These rulebook versions will then take effect in November 2015.
The process leading to publication of new rulebook versions will therefore roll out at the start of 2014, but any suggestions for rulebook changes can be sent to the EPC prior to this date and will be taken into consideration for the November 2015 release. To send suggestions for changes to the rulebooks to the EPC, please use the template provided with the links below.
SEPA Regulation empowers European Commission to amend the technical requirements applicable to SCT and SDD
The SCT and SDD Schemes have to comply with the technical requirements detailed in Article 5 and in the Annex to the SEPA Regulation. Article 13 of the SEPA Regulation empowers the European Commission (the Commission) to amend the technical requirements set out in the Annex to the Regulation through delegated acts (see also Article 14). It remains the EPC's objective to ensure that the SCT and SDD Rulebooks evolve in response to proven market needs, based on a predictable release schedule. The EPC must, however, clarify that moving forward; the EPC may be required to adapt the rulebook release schedule at short notice to ensure compliance with technical requirements set out in the Annex to the SEPA Regulation as amended by the Commission. For more information on the SEPA Regulation, refer to this dedicated page on the EPC Website: SEPA Legal and Regulatory Framework.
Selection of articles from the EPC Newsletter and other sources
- Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009
- EPC Newsletter: The New European Decision-Making Landscape: How the European Commission Rules Through 'Delegated Acts'. SEPA Regulation empowers the European Commission to mandate technical requirements applicable to SEPA payment schemes