It is a unique organisation that aims to make it possible for citizens and businesses in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) to pay with a single payment account or card across Europe as easily and conveniently as they do in their home country.
The EPC’s goal is to contribute to harmonised payments in SEPA – a goal which ultimately supports European competitiveness and innovation.
The EPC is an international not-for-profit association formed of 78 members who are PSPs or associations of PSPs. In constant dialogue with other stakeholders and regulators at European level, its role is to support and promote the integration and development of European payments. The EPC is not part of the European Union institutional framework.
The primary task of the EPC is to manage five payment schemes that facilitate over 46 billion transactions in 36 countries each year:
- The SEPA Credit Transfer scheme.
- The SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme.
- The SEPA Direct Debit Core scheme.
- The SEPA Direct Debit Business-to-Business scheme.
- The One-Leg Out Instant Credit Transfer scheme.
When individuals and businesses make euro credit transfers and direct debits in SEPA (within the same country or between two SEPA countries) or with non-SEPA countries, they use solutions offered by their PSP which rely on the EPC payment schemes.
The EPC’s contribution is invisible to end-users, but it is instrumental in making euro payments via credit transfers and direct debits possible, whether the beneficiary of the payment is located in the same country, in another SEPA country or in a non-SEPA country.
To ensure that the schemes keep meeting market needs and technological evolutions, the EPC regularly updates them, following a transparent process that includes the significant involvement of all stakeholders.
Supporting payments harmonisation in the fields where it is incomplete
The mandatory migration to SEPA when using euro credit transfers and direct debits has been completed. Yet other areas in payments require further efforts to harmonise their practices and rules, and to remove any barriers for those paying via national instruments.
The EPC is therefore active in the fields of mobile payments, including Person-to-Person, e-invoicing-related payments, payment security and cards standardisation. The EPC is a founding member of the European Cards Stakeholders Group, the multi-stakeholder association promoting card harmonisation in SEPA.
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Representing PSPs for all matters related to payments
The EPC participates actively in multi-stakeholder bodies like the European Central Bank’s Euro Retail Payments Board and supports their activities. With its members, it also defines positions and makes proposals on payment aspects of European policies, legislation and regulations.