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EPC Newsletter
Issue 2 - April 2009

SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) & SEPA Direct Debit (SDD)

Think aheadThe SEPA Scheme change management

24.04.09 By Christian Westerhaus

INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY

The evolution of the SEPA Scheme Rulebooks is subject to a transparent change management process which offers all stakeholders the opportunity to introduce suggestions for changes to the schemes. Stakeholders are also encouraged to provide feedback during public consultations preceding any updated release of a Rulebook. Christian Westerhaus outlines the SEPA Scheme change management process from initiation to implementation. The public consultation on changes possibly to be introduced into the 2010 SEPA Credit Transfer Scheme Rulebook release starts in May 2009.

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From Suggestions for change to Change Proposal

The SEPA Schemes will evolve over time to reflect changes in market needs and updates in standards based on a transparent change management process and a predictable release schedule. These principles ensure planning security for all stakeholders. In accordance with the change management process stipulated in the SEPA Scheme Management Internal Rules annexed to each of the SEPA Rulebooks, the EPC had invited stakeholders to forward suggestions for changes to the SEPA Credit Transfer Rulebook by a deadline published well in advance on the EPC website.

In consideration of the suggestions received the EPC SEPA Payments Working Group (SPS WG) is now formulating a Change Request with regard to the 2010 SCT Rulebook Release. The preparation of the Change Request involves detailed analysis of the suggestions for changes received including a cost-benefit analysis, dialogue with the initiator and, if appropriate, market research. Based on this analysis, the SPS WG decides whether to accept a suggestion for change into the change management process or not. Initiators of any suggestions for changes are notified of the decision taken by the SPS WG. All suggestions to modify the Rulebook received by the EPC - irrespective of whether they have been accepted into the change management process - are published on the EPC website, permitting such a list to be openly viewed by all stakeholders.

The Change Request resulting from the analysis of the suggestions for change received includes a detailed description of the proposals to modify the Rulebook and the impact on the Rulebook that would result from implementing such changes.

Public consultation of the Change Request

Once the SPS WG has developed a Change Request, the process of consulting stakeholders on the Change Request is carried out. The Change Request is published on the EPC website and stakeholders are invited to provide feedback during a 90-day consultation period.

Approval and implementation of the updated Rulebook

Taking into account comments received during the consultation, the SPS WG completes a Change Proposal for submission to the EPC Plenary. When approved by the EPC Plenary in September of a given year, the updated version of the Rulebook will be released in the third week of November of the following year to allow for alignment with SWIFT message releases. The release date, therefore, is preceded by a freeze period of 12 months to allow sufficient lead time for implementation of changes.

Consultation on the 2010 SEPA Credit Transfer Rulebook release starts in May 2009

In May 2009, the EPC will release the Change Request pertaining to the 2010 SCT Scheme Rulebook release for the 90-day public consultation. In accordance with the change management process outlined above, the SPS WG will submit the related change proposal to the EPC Plenary in September 2009. Any operational changes to the SEPA Credit Transfer Scheme approved by the September 2009 Plenary will then take effect in November 2010.

Christian Westerhaus is the Chair of the EPC SEPA Payment Schemes Working Group (SPS WG).

Related article in this Newsletter:

The Preview. Rulebook Release Management 2009

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