The objectives of a for cards will be achieved through the use of harmonised, interoperable and free standards, which are openly available to all parties within the card payment value chain. The work of the European Payments Council () and the Cards Stakeholders Group (CSG) continues to focus on a cards standardisation programme for a better, safer, more cost efficient and functionally richer card services environment, whatever the card product or scheme may be.
In 2009, the promoted the creation of the CSG together with representatives from four other sectors (retailers, vendors, processors, card schemes). The creation of this body makes it possible to recognise the expectations of a broad range of stakeholders. This is realised, in particular by ensuring the strong co-management of the processes related to the identification of standards requirements and implementation best practices that will promote interoperability within the cards market. The initiative aims to remove technical obstacles to deliver a consistent customer payment card experience across . The work also encourages process efficiency throughout the card supply chain and the highest level of card payment security. The CSG manages the process of identifying standard requirements and implementation best practices that will promote interoperability in the cards market.
The need to standardise this market across was reinforced by the European Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in December 2009, when it requested in its conclusion on that the industry should set the conditions for further standardisation in the area of cards. This request was echoed by the European Central Bank.
The CSG develops and maintains the Cards Standardisation Volume - Book of Requirements (Cards Standardisation Volume). This document defines a standard set of requirements to ensure a secure, interoperable and scalable card and terminal infrastructure across . In January 2012, the Cards Standardisation Volume version 6.0 was published on the Website (see link below). The document, which underwent a period of public consultation in June 2011, incorporates various updates regarding functional requirements, security requirements, certification and labelling.
Changes to the Cards Standardisation Volume include:
• Chapter 2: plans for a labelling process to ensure a product's functional compatibility with the Cards Standardisation Volume.
• Chapter 4: functional requirement updates in relation to payment with cashback, dynamic currency conversion, aggregated payment amounts, surcharging and rebates.
• Chapter 5: security requirements and references to the latest industry international standards bodies' specifications, as well as the requirements of national authorities.
• Chapter 6: the certification process has also been further developed to establish a process to identify a product's security compliance with the Cards Standardisation Volume and requirements.
As with all previous versions of the Cards Standardisation Volume, the document is not final and should be viewed as an interim version. Future editions will be extended notably on security requirements - including card-not-present and innovative web payments, as well as certification.
As the Cards Standardisation Volume matures, however, there is a requirement within the marketplace to invest in accordance with its recommendations and update the document as and when needed, rather than adhere to an annual publication cycle. The calls on stakeholders to continue to send suggestions and participate in the sub-groups established to ensure that the Cards Standardisation Volume can evolve in line with market needs. This open approach is key to the further development of the card market.
A dedicated article outlining in more detail the updates introduced into version 6.0 of the Cards Standardisation Volume will be published in issue 13 of the Newsletter to go live on 30 January 2012. A link to this article will be added here once available.
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