It is a unique organisation that aims to make it possible for citizens and businesses in the Single Euro Payments Area () to pay with a single payment account or card across Europe as easily and conveniently as they do in their home country.
The ’s goal is to contribute to harmonised payments in – a goal which ultimately supports European competitiveness and innovation.
The is an international not-for-profit association formed of 76 members who are (mostly banks) or associations of . 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 is not part of the European Union institutional framework.
The primary task of the is to manage four payment schemes that facilitate over 39 billion transactions in 34 countries each year:
- The Credit Transfer scheme.
- The Instant Credit Transfer scheme.
- The Direct Debit Core scheme.
- The Direct Debit Business-to-Business scheme.
When individuals and businesses make euro credit transfers and direct debits in (within the same country or between two countries), they use solutions offered by their which rely on the schemes.
The ’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 or in another country.
To ensure that the schemes keep meeting market needs and technological evolutions, the 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 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 is therefore active in the fields of mobile payments, including Person-to-Person, e-invoicing-related payments, payment security and cards standardisation. The is a founding member of the European Cards Stakeholders Group, the multi-stakeholder association promoting card harmonisation in .
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Representing for all matters related to payments
The 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.