EPC Plenary Meeting Update

EPC Plenary Meeting Update

Main decisions taken in September 2011

28 October 11

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press release commenting on the European Commission's antitrust investigation into the 's standardisation process for payments over the internet

The European Payments Council () Plenary agreed to publish a press release commenting on the European Commission's antitrust investigation into the standardisation process for payments over the internet undertaken by the (see 'related links' below). The fully understands that there is strong public interest in the European Commission's antitrust investigation into the 's work in the area of Single Euro Payments Area () online payments. It is always the 's intention to be as open and transparent as possible in its communications with its stakeholders and the media. In this instance however, and at this moment in time, the has decided not to make public comments beyond the 's media statement of 27 September 2011 due to the pending proceedings. The wishes to clarify however, that it has a proven track record of consultation of and interaction with stakeholders on 's deliverables.

Approval of updated versions of the Credit Transfer and Direct Debit Rulebooks

The Plenary approved the Credit Transfer Rulebook version 6.0, the Core Direct Rulebook version 6.0 and the Business to Business Direct Debit Rulebook version 4.0 and related implementation guidelines for publication in November 2011. These updated scheme rulebooks will take effect in November 2012. For detailed information on new elements introduced into the payment schemes, refer to the article ' Scheme Rulebooks: Next Edition Available in November 2011!' (see 'related articles in this issue' below).

The would also like to alert all stakeholders that the forthcoming 'Regulation Establishing Technical Requirements for Credit Transfers and Direct Debits in Euro' (the Regulation) is very likely to have significant impact on the future process applicable to scheme development and rulebook release management. The Regulation will give power to the European Commission to amend the technical requirements set out in this Regulation through delegated acts. This means that the will be under the legal obligation to align the Credit Transfer () and Direct Debit (SDD) Rulebooks with the technical amendments determined by the European Commission. The will be obliged to make related changes to the and SDD Rulebooks effective according to the timelines mandated by the European Commission. This means payment service providers participating in the and SDD Schemes will have to comply with amendments as per the effective dates defined by the European Commission. The is therefore no longer able to ensure a predictable rulebook release management cycle. For details on this subject, refer to the article 'Brave New World: the European Commission Becomes the Scheme Manager' (see 'related articles in this issue' below).

Survey carried out by the to identify mandate checking obligations of existing national direct debit schemes in

The carried out a survey to identify mandate checking obligations of existing national direct debit schemes in . The Plenary agreed to share the results of this survey with the European Union (EU) legislator for consideration in the process leading to the adoption of the 'Regulation Establishing Technical Requirements for Credit Transfers and Direct Debits in Euro' (the Regulation).

The findings of the survey demonstrate that more than 73 percent of all direct debit payments in the are executed on the accounts of consumers who today, do not request such mandate checks. The average number of direct debit payments per consumer each year is 68 in countries with a direct debit model not supporting these checks. In countries with more complex direct debit scheme models, this average is around 23. The findings are in line with the experience of bank customers; namely, that millions of direct debits are securely and correctly collected in Europe every day - without checks required to be performed by law. It is the view of that the legislator should take into account proven preferences of the majority of direct debit users. As such, the forthcoming Regulation should refrain from making compulsory mandate checks which are optional in the Scheme. Instead, mandate checking options should be agreed between payment service providers and their customers.

For more information on the results of and commentary on this survey, refer to the link to the survey and related Blog (see 'related links' below).

Approval of 'Mobile Contactless Card Payments Interoperability Implementation Guidelines' developed by , as well as the second edition of the ' White Paper on Mobile Payments' for publication by the end of 2011

Following a public consultation the will publish the final version of the 'Mobile Contactless Card Payments Interoperability Implementation Guidelines' in the fourth quarter of 2011.

These guidelines will enable the quick development of mobile solutions by:

  • Promoting open standards.
  • Describing key stakeholder roles.
  • Positioning responsibilities in relation to other industry bodies.
  • Recommending adequate security levels for mobile payment value chain.

By the end of 2011, the will also publish the second edition of the ' White Paper on Mobile Payments'. This updated version will include a new section on remote mobile payments as well as a high level mobile wallets description.

For detailed information on these soon-to-be launched documents detailing the 's work in the area of mobile payments, refer to the article 'Beyond the Hype: Making Mobile Payments Work' (see 'related articles in this issue' below).

Gerard Hartsink is the Chair of the .

Related links:

EPC Press Release (27 September 2011): EPC Comments on the European Commission's Investigation into its Standardisation Process for Online Payments

EPC Survey on Mandate Checking Obligations in Existing Direct Debit Schemes 

EPC Blog: Talking About SEPA Direct Debit: The EPC Invites European Lawmakers to Consider Results of EPC Survey on Direct Debit Models Existing in SEPA Today

Related articles in this issue:

SEPA Scheme Rulebooks: Next Edition Available in November 2011! The EPC publishes new versions of the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit Rulebooks

Brave New World: the European Commission Becomes the SEPA Scheme Manager. The EPC offers the regulator some insight on scheme development and rulebook release management

Beyond the Hype: Making Mobile Payments Work. 'Mobile Contactless SEPA Card Payments Interoperability Implementation Guidelines' and second edition of 'EPC White Paper on Mobile Payments'

Related article in previous issue:

Direct Debit: Killing it Softly. Reflections on the likely demise of one of the most popular payment instruments in Europe ( Newsletter, Issue 11, July 2011)



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