European Payments Council Blog and Discussion Board
Join the European Payments Council (EPC) discussion board to have your say on recent Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) developments and highlight subjects that you would like to debate. The platform has been designed to ensure the communication of frequent and useful EPC information as well as engage the payments community and encourage the exchange of opinions. Please note that by accessing or contributing to the discussion board you agree to abide by the terms of the EPC Blogging Policy, so please read them carefully before doing so.
To receive notification when a new EPC blog goes live, subscribe using the RSS feed in the left-hand column of this webpage.
Important Notice to all SEPA Stakeholders: the European Commission Will Assume SEPA Scheme Management Viewed 6106 times
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payment scheme rulebooks for SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD), developed by the EPC - at the request of European authorities - are key to making SEPA a reality.
The rulebooks can be regarded as instruction manuals, which provide a common understanding on how to move funds between bank accounts within SEPA. The annual EPC scheme change management process provides all stakeholders with the opportunity to introduce suggestions for changes to the schemes. Proposed amends are subject to a three-month public consultation. Change requests that find broad acceptance from the entire user community are then taken forward, while requests that lack support are not. The EPC published updated versions of the SCT and SDD Rulebooks on 17 November 2011, which will take effect in November 2012 (see links below). In accordance with industry best practice, all stakeholders and their suppliers have a one year lead time to address rulebook updates prior to such updates taking effect. The EPC scheme change management ensures participation of and planning security for all market participants.
It remains the EPC's objective to ensure that the SEPA Rulebooks evolve in response to proven market needs, based on a predictable release schedule. The EPC must, however, clarify that it can no longer be held accountable in this regard.
The European Union (EU) legislator will shortly adopt the ‘Regulation Establishing Technical Requirements for Credit Transfers and Direct Debits in Euros' (the SEPA Regulation). The technical requirements set out in the annex to the SEPA Regulation will be applicable to Union-wide euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes; i.e. the SCT and SDD Schemes. The SEPA Regulation will also give power to the European Commission to amend the technical requirements at its sole discretion. Moving forward, the EPC will be under the legal obligation to align the SCT and SDD Rulebooks with the technical requirements as amended by the European Commission and according to the timelines mandated by the European Commission.
The European Commission is under no obligation to consider the requirements of payment service users as identified through public SEPA-wide consultations or as reflected in valid statistical data provided, for example, by the European Central Bank. The legislative process leading to the imminent adoption of the SEPA Regulation clearly demonstrates that the European Commission reserves the right to redefine the SEPA Schemes based on its own assessments. The EU legislator fully endorses this concept.
The European Commission and the EU legislator however, place great reliance on the advice of Brussels-based lobbying organisations, which speak on behalf of the demand side. The safest bet now for bank customers seeking to channel their requirements into the SEPA Schemes is therefore to lobby their European lobbying group.
All market participants obliged to adapt systems and operations with the technical requirements applicable to the SCT and SDD Schemes decreed by the European Commission, would greatly appreciate it if the regulators were able to make specific information on the principles and timelines governing the further evolution of the schemes available. To-date, both the legislator and the European Commission remain silent on the matter. Surely, some sort of plan is in place?
For more information, please refer to the following links:
PSPs which participate in the SCT and SDD Schemes are reminded that the rulebook versions and adjacent implementation guidelines which were published in November 2010 take effect on 19 November 2011!
If you would like to comment on this blog entry or propose a subject for discussion, please identify yourself with your first and last name. Please note that your name will appear next to your comment. Email addresses will not be published.
To receive notification when a new comment is added to this specific discussion, please subscribe to get updates by email (using the "Subscribe" link below) or RSS (using the "RSS Feed" at the top left of the page). (These links are not available on the mobile version of the EPC Website, to subscribe by email or RSS, please visit the standard version of the EPC Website).
06.05.14Join the Debate on the Further Evolution of the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit Schemes: Less Flexibility, More Harmonisation? An Overview of the Options, Variations, Exceptions and Exemptions Possible in SEPA Today
15.04.14PSD2: The New Article 67, (‘Refunds for Payment Transactions Initiated By or Through a Payee’), Proposed by the European Commission Risks Undermining Consumer’s Unconditional Refund Right for Direct Debits Included with the SEPA Direct Debit Core Scheme
25.03.14PSD2: EPC Identifies Considerable Scope for Amendments of the Proposed New Set of Rules Related to the Activity of Third Party Payment Service Providers Offering Payment Initiation or Payment Account Information Services