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EPC Publishes Version 6.0 of the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume - Book of Requirements. 23-01-2012

The objectives of a SEPA for cards will be achieved through the use of harmonised, interoperable and free standards, which are openly available to all parties within the card payment value chain. The work of the European Payments Council (EPC) and the Cards Stakeholders Group (CSG) continues to focus on a cards standardisation programme for a better, safer, more cost efficient and functionally richer card services environment, whatever the card product or scheme may be. The CSG manages the process of identifying standard requirements and implementation best practices that will promote interoperability in the SEPA cards market.

In January 2012, the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume - Book of Requirements (Cards Standardisation Volume) version 6.0 was published on the EPC Website. This document defines a standard set of requirements to ensure a secure, interoperable and scalable card and terminal infrastructure across SEPA. The document, which underwent a period of public consultation in June 2011, incorporates various updates regarding functional requirements, security requirements, certification and labelling.

Changes to the Volume include:

  • Chapter 2: plans for a labelling process to ensure a product's functional compatibility with the Cards Standardisation Volume.
  • Chapter 4: functional requirement updates in relation to payment with cashback, dynamic currency conversion, aggregated payment amounts, surcharging and rebates.
  • Chapter 5: security requirements and references to the latest industry international standards bodies' specifications, as well as the requirements of national authorities.
  • Chapter 6: the certification process has also been further developed to establish a process to identify a product's security compliance with the Cards Standardisation Volume and SEPA requirements.

The document is not final and should be viewed as an interim version. Future editions will take into consideration the expectations of the European public authorities, which have been indicated as being communicated during the course of 2012. The next version will also be extended, notably on security requirements - including card-not-present and innovative web payments.

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