EPC Plenary Meeting Update

EPC Plenary Meeting Update

Main decisions taken in March 2014

04 November 14

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Approval of the document ‘Criteria for Participation in the Schemes for Communities of Banks or Financial Institutions outside the European Economic Area ()’

The Single Euro Payments Area () payment schemes as set out in the Credit Transfer () and Direct Debit (SDD) Rulebooks contain sets of rules and technical standards defined by standards bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for the execution of payment transactions. Simply put, the rulebooks can be regarded as instruction manuals which provide a common understanding on how to move funds from account A to account B within . Strictly and formally speaking, the rulebooks set out the rights and obligations of all institutions bound by their terms, i.e. the scheme participants, (payment service providers () that have formally adhered to the schemes), and the European Payments Council (). The rulebooks bind each scheme participant “to comply with their obligations to the and to all other scheme participants pursuant to the rules set out therein.”1

The launched the Scheme in January 2008. As of April 2014, 4,614 offer services. The launched the Scheme and the SDD Business to Business (B2B) Scheme in November 2009. As of April 2014, 3,939 have signed up to the Scheme. As of April 2014, 3,491 also adhere to the Scheme. The separate Participant Registers for the , the and the Schemes list the participants taking part in these schemes (see ‘related links’ below).

The geographical scope of the Schemes currently consists of the 28 European Union (EU) Member States plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco and San Marino. (For details, refer to the ‘ list of Scheme Countries’ included in the ‘related links’ below.)

In March 2014, the Plenary approved the document ‘Criteria for Participation in the Schemes for Communities of Banks or Financial Institutions outside the European Economic Area ()’ (see ‘related links’ below).

The has recognised the need to establish criteria and procedures for determining whether a community of banks or financial institutions which are equivalent to ‘’ in the / from a non- country or territory (an 'applicant’2) which is not yet within the geographical scope of the Schemes should be considered eligible to participate in the Schemes.

(The set of criteria detailed in the document ‘Criteria for Participation in the Schemes for Communities of Banks or Financial Institutions outside the European Economic Area ()’ does not apply in the case of from countries.)

It should be noted that any decision regarding the satisfaction of the criteria established with this document concerning an applicant must be taken prior to the scheme adherence process for individual banks or institutions to the Schemes. The application for scheme adherence by individual institutions and a subsequent decision by the Scheme Management Committee (SMC) of the about individual applications is part of a separate process which can only be initiated once the geographical scope of the Schemes has been extended to include the relevant non- country or territory. (To learn more about the scheme adherence process, refer to the ‘Guide to the Adherence Process for the Scheme’ and the ‘Guide to the Adherence Process for the Scheme and for the Scheme’ included in the ‘related links’ below. To learn more about the SMC, refer to the link ‘ Scheme Management’ below.)

The criteria will be applied consistently and must be fair, proportionate and non-discriminatory. No decision will be made as to the eligibility of an applicant until that applicant has been considered against these participation criteria in accordance with the procedures set out herein.

The criteria to be considered when making a determination of eligibility are listed in section 3 of the document ‘Criteria for Participation in the Schemes for Communities of Banks or Financial Institutions outside the European Economic Area ()’. Section 4 describes the procedure for making a decision on eligibility, and section 5 highlights a specific issue in relation to the level-playing field for any non- Applicant. 

The has adopted the following overarching principles with respect to Scheme participation. It is considered appropriate to expand the geographical scope of the Schemes beyond the and the on a case-by-case basis provided that the level playing field criteria in the regulatory context for payments are met. For the purposes of the document ‘Criteria for Participation in the Schemes for Communities of Banks or Financial Institutions outside the European Economic Area ()’, ‘ payments’ are understood to be payments made between Scheme participants in the form of SCTs and / or SDDs. In all cases the application of each of the criteria set out in the document shall be understood to be limited to its relevance in the context of payments.

For further details, please refer to the document ‘Criteria for Participation in the Schemes for Communities of Banks or Financial Institutions outside the European Economic Area ()’ below.

Javier Santamaría is the Chair of the .

 

Related links :

EPC Document: Criteria for Participation in the SEPA Schemes for Communities of Banks or Financial Institutions outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

EPC List of SEPA Scheme Countries 

EPC Document: Guide to the Adherence Process for the SCT Scheme

EPC Document: Guide to the Adherence Process for the SDD Core Scheme and for the SDD B2B Scheme 

EPC Website: SEPA Credit Transfer 

EPC Website: SEPA Direct Debit 

EPC Website: SEPA Scheme Management 

EPC Registers of Participants in the SCT, the SDD Core and the SDD B2B Schemes 

 

Related articles in this issue :

Join the Debate on the Further Evolution of the SCT and SDD Schemes: Less Flexibility, More Harmonisation? An overview of the options, variations, exceptions and exemptions possible in SEPA today

Next Generation SCT and SDD Rulebooks: Three-Month Public Consultation Starts on 19 May 2014. All stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on possible modifications to the SCT and SDD Rulebooks

 

Related articles in previous issues :

Newsletter: Articles Published in the Section ‘EPC Latest News’. Each edition of the Newsletter reports on main decisions taken by the Plenary 

 

1 'Guide to the Adherence Process for the Core Direct Debit Scheme and for the B2B Direct Debit Scheme' (EPC329-08) and 'Guide to the Adherence Process for the Credit Transfer Scheme' (EPC125-07). The links to the documents are included in the ‘related links’ underneath this article.

2 Such community can for example be represented by their national central bank or their national banking association for that matter.



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