The adjusted European Payments Council ( ) governance model is described in the revised Charter published on 10 February 2015
As previously reported (see ‘related articles in previous issues’ below), with the main phase of the migration to harmonised Single Euro Payments Area ( ) payment schemes in the euro area complete, the resolved in October 2014 to adapt its structure to further enhance governance and stakeholder involvement. The new governance model is described in the revised Charter (see ‘related links’ below) which became effective and was published on 10 February 2015.
The has pointed out that the adjustments to its governance model are of an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary nature. They contribute to ensuring that the meets its purpose, which is to support and promote European payments integration and development, notably . The primary objective of this evolution is to ensure that the continues to be best equipped to perform its main task, i.e. to manage the Credit Transfer ( ) and Direct Debit ( ) Schemes, in an efficient and transparent manner. The , (which is not part of the European Union ( ) institutional framework), carries out the scheme management function subject to legal and regulatory conditions defined by the authorities. For more information on the role of the European Commission and the European Central Bank with regard to the evolution and oversight of the and Schemes, refer to the ‘related links’ and ‘related articles in previous issues’ below.
The is committed to contributing to safe, reliable, efficient, convenient, economically balanced and sustainable payments, which meet the needs of payment service users and support the goals of competitiveness and innovation in an integrated European economy. Considering that the authorities driving the process have clarified that migration to harmonised payment schemes does not conclude this integration project, the adjusted structure will also facilitate developing positions on behalf of members, representing payment service providers ( ), vis-à-vis the institutions, public authorities, international organisations, and the general public on European payment issues as well as on policies, legislation and regulations impacting payments.
Figure 1: Organisational Chart. (Source: .)
Details on and scheme management are described in the amended document ‘ Scheme Management Internal Rules’ published on 3 April 2015
On 31 October 2014, the launched a 90-day consultation on the draft revised Scheme Management Internal Rules. This document contains descriptions of the internal organisation, structure, rules, and processes that make up the scheme management of the and Schemes. Such processes cover administration and compliance, and change management, including structured dialogue with stakeholders. For an overview of applicable principles, refer to the Website page ‘ Scheme Management’ (see ‘related links’ below). The approved the amended Scheme Management Internal Rules (see ‘related links’ below) on 4 March 2015. In accordance with the established publication schedule, the published the amended Scheme Management Internal Rules on 3 April 2015, i.e. 30 days following approval.
As mentioned above, the new governance model further enhances the involvement of stakeholders in scheme management and ensures that the administration and evolution of the schemes continues to be carried out in an efficient and transparent manner. With these objectives in mind, the following new bodies were created in April 2015:
The Scheme Participants Assembly solely relies on electronic means and is composed of all that have formally adhered to the and/or Schemes. It regularly receives information from the Scheme Management Board and endorses the nomination of candidates for the scheme participants’ seats on the Scheme Management Board.
The Scheme Management Board is responsible for the following two functions of scheme management upon delegation from the Board:
- The first function is the administration of the and Schemes. This includes approval of applications from to adhere to the schemes and the process of ensuring compliance with the rules as laid down in the and Rulebooks, i.e. handling of complaints, conciliation cases and appeals. This function is delegated to the Compliance and Adherence Committee and the Appeals Committee.
- The second function involves managing the development and evolution of the and Schemes. In carrying out this function, the Scheme Management Board will be supported by the Scheme Evolution and Maintenance Working Group.
Ensuring that the and Schemes continue to meet market needs requires identifying those elements and features catering to the vast majority of stakeholders across - today - 34 countries.
Dialogue with stakeholders across frequently demonstrates that the requirements of customers, with regard to the payment schemes, differ widely across and within the various customer segments and countries. As regards the latter, it has to also be kept in mind that 98 percent of all retail payments are made within national borders. Payment service users are not only divided into payers and payees (whose payment needs are different). customers encompass a wide range of interest groups including consumers, public administrations, corporates and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Corporates and SMEs may be active domestically, regionally or globally. In a multi-country environment such as , even within a specific customer segment, there exist very different schools of thought as to which specific features should be included in a payment scheme or not.
In line with governance best practice and to ensure proper consideration of the interests of all stakeholders, i.e. payment service users and providers, a number of seats (including the Chair) on the Scheme Management Board are held by independent members. Independent members are not employed or otherwise affiliated with a scheme participant, i.e. a that has formally adhered to the and Schemes; a community represented in the ; other service providers or a payment services user group or user association.
The amended Scheme Management Internal Rules also reflect the adapted funding structure. Changes to the funding structure only impact scheme participants, i.e. that have formally adhered to the and Schemes. Related principles are set out in section 7 (‘Scheme Management Cost Allocation’) of the new Scheme Management Internal Rules. The remains an international not-for-profit association which makes all of its deliverables, including the Scheme Rulebooks and adjacent documentation, available to download free of charge on the Website.
The and Rulebooks have been updated to include the amended Scheme Management Internal Rules; changes introduced into the updated rulebook versions are of a purely administrative nature and have no operational impact whatsoever
The Scheme Management Internal Rules are an integral part of the and Rulebooks. Consequently, the rulebook versions currently in effect as well as the rulebook versions to take effect in November 2015 and November 2016, respectively, have been updated to include the amended Scheme Management Internal Rules. Amendments to the Scheme Management Internal Rules are of a purely administrative nature and have no operational impact whatsoever. The updated rulebook versions, therefore remain unchanged from a functional or technical point of view compared to the previous versions. The rulebook versions currently in effect and the rulebook versions to take effect in November 2015 and November 2016, respectively, updated to include the amended Scheme Management Internal Rules, are:
- The rulebooks currently in effect are the Rulebook version 7.2, Rulebook version 7.2 and Business to Business (B2B) Rulebook version 5.2. These rulebook versions remain in effect until November 2015.
- The Rulebook version 8.1, Rulebook version 8.1 and Rulebook version 6.1 will take effect on 22 November 2015. The Rulebook version 8.1 will remain in effect until November 2017. The Rulebook version 8.1 and Rulebook version 6.1 will remain in effect until November 2016.
- The Rulebook version 9.1 and Rulebook version 7.1 will take effect on 20 November 2016 and remain in effect until November 2017.
These rulebook versions can be downloaded following the ‘related links’ below.
In April 2015, the launched a call for candidates seeking appointment to the Scheme End-User Forum or the Scheme Technical Forum. Applications are invited by 8 May 2015
The evolution of the and Schemes relies on close dialogue between the as the scheme manager and the representatives of the demand side of the payments market, as well as providers developing technical solutions which help the market to fully reap the benefits. With the adjusted governance model operational, the constitutes the following two new bodies: the ‘ Scheme End-User Forum’ and the ‘ Scheme Technical Forum’. Details on the role of these new bodies are set out in section 4.4 of the document ‘ Scheme Management Internal Rules’ (see ‘related links’ below). On 17 April 2015, the launched a call for candidates inviting interested organisations to apply for participation in the Scheme End-User Forum and the Scheme Technical Forum, respectively.
Scheme End-User Forum: call for candidates
Dialogue with representatives of payment service users previously took place in the ’s Customer Stakeholder Forum established in 2007. This cooperation will be further enhanced and formalised with the creation of the new Scheme End-User Forum.
The calls for candidates nominated by European associations, representing the demand side of the payments market, who seek appointment to the Scheme End-User Forum to become effective in the second quarter of 2015. The vacancies are for a maximum of 20 seats. It is anticipated that the Scheme End-User Forum will meet physically or by telephone conference at least twice yearly. The composition of, and the criteria for membership in, the Scheme End-User Forum are described in the document ‘Profile – Member of Scheme End-User Forum (SEUF)’ (see first ‘related link’ below). Application letters including an up-to-date CV in English are invited to: SEUF@epc-cep.eu by 8 May 2015 close of business.
Scheme Technical Forum: call for candidates
To strengthen the dialogue between the and the -compliant clearing and settlement mechanisms (CSMs)1, the ‘ Clearing and Settlement Forum’ was created in 2011. With the new governance model operational, the Clearing and Settlement Forum will be replaced by the new Scheme Technical Forum. The scope of the new Scheme Technical Forum will be expanded to allow the dialogue with representatives of CSMs as well as technology and service providers developing technical solutions.
The calls for candidates representing CSMs or technology and service providers, who seek appointment to the Scheme Technical Forum to become effective in the third quarter of 2015. The vacancies are for a maximum of 25 seats. It is anticipated that the Scheme Technical Forum will meet physically or by telephone conference at least twice yearly. The composition of, and the criteria for membership in, the Scheme Technical Forum are described in the document ‘Profile – Member of Scheme Technical Forum (ESTF)’ (see second ‘related link’ below). Application letters including an up-to-date CV in English are invited to: ESTF@epc-cep.eu by 8 May 2015 close of business.
remains a work in progress. The is ready and looks forward to making the next steps in the process in close dialogue with all stakeholders.
Javier Santamaría is the Chair of the
EPC Website: SEPA at a Glance – the Infographic (this infographic provides an overview of the actors involved in the process at the European level and their interaction)
European Central Bank Website: Governance (includes detailed information on the Euro Retail Payments Board ( ) and related documentation)
Related articles in this issue:
Related articles in previous issues:
The Future of Payments: European Commission Invited Exchange of Views at its Conference on Emerging Challenges in Retail Finance and Consumer Policy. Participants discussed latest developments, and ones to come, in terms of consumers' safety, accessibility and convenience ( Newsletter, Issue 25, January 2015)
European Payments Council 2.0: with SEPA Migration (Euro Area) Complete, the EPC Adapts its Structure to Further Enhance Governance and Stakeholder Involvement. The new EPC governance model will become operational in the first quarter of 2015 ( Newsletter, Issue 24, October 2014)
SEPA Migration (Euro Area) Round Up: the Transition has been a Success Throughout the Region. Market participants comment on the 1 August 2014 deadline and next steps in the SEPA process ( Newsletter, Issue 24, October 2014)
1 In the context, a payment system in the meaning of a 'funds transfer system' is referred to as a 'Clearing and Settlement Mechanism' (CSM). Services offered by competing CSMs, based on the payment schemes, are governed by market forces and are outside the remit of the as there is a clear separation between the as the scheme manager and CSMs. Detailed information on and -compliant CSMs is available on these Website pages: http://www.europeanpaymentscouncil.eu/index.cfm/sepa-credit-transfer/sct-scheme-compliant-clearing-and-settlement-mechanisms-csms/ and http://www.europeanpaymentscouncil.eu/index.cfm/sepa-direct-debit/sdd-scheme-compliant-clearing-and-settlement-mechanisms-csms/.
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