EPC Scheme Change Management: Annual Public Consultation Starts in May...

EPC Scheme Change Management: Annual Public Consultation Starts in May 2012

All stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on possible changes to the SEPA payment schemes

16 May 12

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Get involved in the annual scheme change management cycle!

The Single Euro Payments Area ( ) payment schemes, as set out in the Credit Transfer ( ) and Direct Debit ( ) Rulebooks, evolve based on a transparent change management process adhered to by the European Payments Council ( ). The principles governing the evolution of the Schemes are set out in section 3 of the Scheme Management Internal Rules (see 'related links' below). The first step in the annual scheme change management cycle is the introduction of suggestions for changes to the schemes by any interested party. Deadline for receipt of such suggestions is end February each year.

In consideration of the suggestions received, the Payments Working Group (SPS WG) develops a single change request document per rulebook (the Rulebook, the Rulebook and the Business to Business Rulebook). The preparation of the change request documents involves analysis of the suggestions for changes received which may include, as appropriate, a cost-benefit analysis, dialogue with the initiator and market need analysis. Based on this review, the SPS WG issues a recommendation on how each change suggestion should be handled.  All suggestions to modify the rulebooks received by the are published on the Website, permitting such a list to be openly viewed by all stakeholders. The change requests for the current year will be released for a three-month public consultation in May 2012. Taking into account comments received during the consultation, the SPS WG will complete a change proposal per rulebook for approval by the Plenary in September 2012. As a result of this annual change cycle, the and Schemes incorporate numerous features introduced by end users.

The updated versions of the and Rulebooks will be published in November 2012. In accordance with industry best practice, payment service providers and their suppliers have a one-year lead time to address rulebook updates prior to such updates taking effect.

Figure 1: Annual Scheme Rulebook Change and Release Management Cycle

Important notice to all stakeholders: impact of the Regulation on and Rulebook Release Management

In February 2012, the European legislator adopted the 'Regulation ( ) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009' (see below) (the Regulation). The and Schemes will have to comply with the technical requirements detailed in Article 5 and in the Annex to the Regulation. Article 13 of the Regulation empowers the European Commission to amend the technical requirements set out in the Annex to the Regulation through delegated acts (see also Article 14). It remains the 's objective to ensure that the and Rulebooks evolve in response to proven market needs, based on a predictable release schedule. The must, however, clarify that moving forward, the may be required to adapt the rulebook release schedule at short notice to ensure compliance with technical requirements set out in the Annex to the Regulation as amended by the European Commission.

All market participants obliged to adapt systems and operations with the technical requirements applicable to the and Schemes mandated by the European Commission, would greatly appreciate it if the regulators were able to make publicly available specific information on the principles and timelines governing the further evolution of the technical requirements to be included in the schemes.

It should be further noted that some of the change suggestions which will be part of the forthcoming public consultation have been introduced by the in order to ensure the schemes' compliance with the Regulation.

Etienne Goosse is the Secretary General.

Related links:

Documentation relevant to the 2012 public consultation on modifications to the SCT and SDD Rulebooks

SEPA Scheme Management Internal Rules Version 3.0 - Extract - Chapter 3 (this chapter describes the principles governing EPC scheme development)

EPC Website: SCT / SDD Rulebook Release Management and Scheme Development

EPC Blog Series: Get Ready for SEPA by February 2014. Early Movers on the Customer Side Share Lessons Learnt

EPC Blog: SEPA for All: What Customers Want. The EPC Shares Lessons Learnt with the European Commission on How to Align SEPA Payment Schemes with Proven Market Needs

Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009

Related articles in this issue:

The Time to Act is Now: Impact of the SEPA Regulation on Payment Service Users. The SEPA Regulation includes provisions relevant for both the demand and supply sides of the payments market

Villeroy & Boch: 'The Long Term Benefits of SEPA Exceed the Short Term Efforts to Get There.' This company completed migration to SEPA Credit Transfer in 2008 and migration to SEPA Direct Debit in 2011

Step up to the Challenge: SWIFT White Paper Sets out Steps to Build a SEPA Migration Plan. A strategy to achieve SEPA compliance by 1 February 2014

Early Movers Confirm: ISO 20022 Message Standards Generate Tangible Benefits. A guide for payment service users on the impact of provisions in the SEPA Regulation regarding the use of the ISO 20022 message standards

SDD for Billers: Exception Handling. EPC Newsletter series provides support for billers preparing migration to the SDD Schemes

Related articles in previous issues:

The New European Decision-Making Landscape: How the European Commission Rules Through 'Delegated Acts'. SEPA Regulation empowers the European Commission to mandate technical requirements applicable to SEPA payment schemes ( Newsletter, Issue 13, January 2012)

SEPA Scheme Rulebooks: Next Edition Available in November 2011! The EPC publishes new versions of the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit Rulebooks ( Newsletter, Issue 12, October 2011)

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