The rulebook versions and associated implementation guidelines published in November 2012 take effect on 1 February 2014
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 (). This evolution reflects changes in market needs and updates of technical standards developed by international standards bodies, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The principles governing the evolution of the Schemes are set out in section three of the Scheme Management Internal Rules (see 'related links' below).
In November 2012, the published the Rulebook version 7.0, the Core Rulebook version 7.0, the Business to Business (B2B) Rulebook version 5.0 and associated implementation guidelines () to take effect in February 2014 (see 'related links' to the 2014 Rulebooks and below). Together with these rulebook versions, the published the feedback received from stakeholders during the 2012 public consultation on the evolution of the schemes (see 'related links' below). The changes introduced into the Rulebook version 7.0, the Core Rulebook version 7.0 and the B2B Rulebook version 5.0 compared to the previous versions have been outlined in a dedicated article in the October 2012 edition of the Newsletter. For an overview of these changes, refer also to the Blog of 30 November 2012 (see 'related links' below).
The European Union (EU) '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' (the ) Regulation), defines 1 February 2014 as the deadline in the euro area for compliance with the core provisions of this Regulation. Effectively, this means that as of this date, existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by and . To ensure planning security for all market participants, publication of updated versions of the and Rulebooks, together with the associated , follows an established change and release management cycle. Ordinarily, the publishes updated versions of the rulebooks once annually, in November of each year. These updated versions then usually take effect in the third week of November of the following year. In accordance with industry best practice, payment service providers and their suppliers therefore have sufficient lead time to address rulebook updates prior to such changes taking effect. Based on the established release management cycle, the updated versions of the rulebooks, published in November 2012, would normally take effect on 16 November 2013.
stakeholders in the euro area however, are currently working towards achieving compliance with the Regulation by 1 February 2014. As a result, and as communicated in June 2012 (see 'related links' below), the decided to postpone the effective date for the Rulebook version 7.0, the Core Rulebook version 7.0, the B2B Rulebook version 5.0 and associated , from 16 November 2013 to 1 February 2014. This allows market participants sufficient time to adapt their systems and operations to comply with both the Regulation and the updated versions of the rulebooks.
The next scheme change management cycle takes place in 2014 / 2015. The rulebook versions to be published in November 2014 will take effect in November 2015
Based on the established scheme change management cycle, the would normally publish the next version of the rulebooks, i.e. the Rulebook version 8.0, the Core Rulebook version 8.0 and the B2B Rulebook version 6.0, in November 2013 to take effect in November 2014. This would however, force stakeholders to update systems and operations twice within one year considering that the rulebook versions published in November 2012 will take effect on 1 February 2014.
To avoid duplication of costs and efforts within one year and to provide planning security to all stakeholders based on stable rulebook versions in the period following migration to and in the euro area, the decided in December 2012 to postpone publication of the next generation rulebooks ( Rulebook version 8.0, Core Rulebook version 8.0 and B2B Rulebook version 6.0) and associated to November 2014. These rulebook versions will then take effect in November 2015.
The process leading to publication of new rulebook versions will therefore roll out at the start of 2014, but any suggestions for rulebook changes can be sent to the prior to this date and will be taken into consideration for the November 2015 release. To send suggestions for changes to the rulebooks to the , please use the template provided with the 'related links' below.
Regulation empowers the European Commission to amend the technical requirements applicable to and
The is committed to adhering to a scheme change management and rulebook release management process, which provides all stakeholders with sufficient lead time to implement any changes to the rulebooks and . It has to be kept in mind however, that the and Schemes have to be compliant with the technical requirements detailed in Article 5 of the Regulation and in the Annex to the Regulation. Article 13 of the Regulation empowers the European Commission (the Commission) to amend the technical requirements set out in the Annex to the Regulation through delegated acts (see also Article 14). For detailed information on this subject, refer to the Newsletter article 'The New European Decision-Making Landscape: How the European Commission Rules Through Delegated Acts' (see links below). 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 Commission.
To date, the Commission has not indicated that it intends to amend the Annex to the Regulation prior to November 2015.
Get ready for by 1.2.2014. Act now!
The Regulation affects not only payment service providers, but also payment service users () such as corporates, small and medium sized enterprises, public administrations and government agencies. Consequently, in the euro area need to ensure compliance with the 1 February 2014 deadline for migration to harmonised payment schemes established with the Regulation. In April 2011, the Newsletter launched the series ' Case Studies' (see 'related articles in previous issues' below). The case studies featured in this series highlight the lessons learnt by which have completed migration to and . Since April 2011, the representatives of , who reported on their successfully completed migration projects in this newsletter, unanimously recommended that organisations which still have to achieve compliance become active as soon as possible. Since October 2012, the has alerted market participants that this is no longer a recommendation but an imperative. The experience of handling major payment volumes indicates that migration to Schemes and technical standards is beneficial, but requires careful planning. have to implement significant changes to their operational models. They have to invest in system upgrades, testing and staff training. The scope of the changes is extensive.
Any organisation which has not yet initiated the migration process must act now or risks missing the 1 February 2014 deadline to comply with the Regulation and consequently infringing law. There is no time to procrastinate further.
The makes available comprehensive information to help market participants manage the transition. These sources are included with the 'related links' at the end of this article (refer to the ' Migration Tool Kit').
Jean-Yves Jacquelin is the Chair of the Payment Schemes Working Group.
EPC Blog (December 2012): SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit Rulebooks: Next Scheme Change Management Cycle Takes Place in 2014. Rulebooks to be Published in November 2014 Will Take Effect in November 2015
EPC Newsletter (January 2011): 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
Related article in this issue:
EPC Addresses Operational Aspects Relevant to Payment Service Providers Participating in the SCT and SDD Schemes. The newly issued clarification paper seeks to ensure consistent implementation of the schemes across SEPA
Related articles in previous issues:
If you would like to comment on this article, please identify yourself with your first and last name. Your name will appear next to your comment. Email addresses will not be published. Please note that by accessing or contributing to the discussion you agree to abide by the EPC website conditions of use.