SEPA Direct Debit (SDD)
SCT / SDD Rulebook Release Management
The European Payments Council (EPC) launched the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) Scheme in January 2008 and the SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Core and SDD Business to Business (B2B) Schemes in November 2009. The SEPA payment schemes, as set out in the SCT and SDD rulebooks, evolve based on a transparent change management process adhered to by the 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 the SEPA Scheme Management Internal Rules, which are an integral part of the rulebooks.
The scheme change management process provides all stakeholders with the opportunity to participate; i.e. to introduce change requests to the schemes. All change requests to the rulebooks received are evaluated by the EPC and consolidated into a single public consultation document per rulebook. The public consultation documents are then released for a three-month public consultation. Change requests to the schemes that find broad acceptance in the entire stakeholder community and that are technically and legally feasible are taken forward. Change requests that lack such broad support are not – regardless of whether such a change is proposed by a payment service provider (PSP) or by a user representative. This ensures that the SCT and SDD Schemes evolve in line with the requirements of the majority of market participants.
In a snapshot - The SCT and SDD Rulebook versions until 2017
The EPC usually publishes new versions of the rulebooks (and associated implementation guidelines) once annually in November, to take effect in November of the next year. This allows scheme participants to implement within their organisations the changes of the new versions, before they take effect. As soon as they are published, the EPC invites all stakeholders to submit their suggestions for changes. Suggestions broadly accepted during the three-month public consultation are afterwards implemented in the following version of the rulebooks.
The diagram below shows the dates as of which each rulebook version comes into effect:
The next scheme change management cycle will roll out in 2016
The EPC reached out to all interested parties in 2015, calling on them to engage in the next scheme change management cycle and to submit suggestions for changes to the published rulebooks. These suggestions are subject to a public consultation taking place between 5 April and 4 July 2016. The EPC submits a change request consultation document for each EPC SEPA rulebook for this public consultation.
These change request consultation documents and the related response templates are available on the EPC Website pages SCT Consultations and SDD Consultations. To share your feedback, please send the completed response templates by email to change-request.EPCemail@example.com by 4 July 2016 at the latest. Next generation SCT and SDD Rulebooks will be published in November 2016 to take effect in November 2017.
The following timeline diagram highlights the main milestones in the change management cycle:
Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 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 of and in the Annex to Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 (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). For detailed information, refer to the EPC Newsletter article, entitled ‘Evolution and Oversight of the SCT and SDD Schemes: the Role of the European Commission and of the European Central Bank’ (see link below).
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 or with any other relevant EU legislation.
Selection of articles from the EPC Newsletter and other sources
- EPC Newsletter: SCT and SDD Rulebooks: Modifications to the Rulebooks to Take Effect in November 2015 and November 2016, Respectively
- EPC Consultations
- 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)
- EPC Newsletter: Evolution and Oversight of the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit Schemes: the Role of the European Commission and of the European Central Bank