SEPA Request-to-Pay (SRTP) Scheme - A new driver for innovation in Eur...

SEPA Request-to-Pay (SRTP) Scheme - A new driver for innovation in European payments

15 December 21

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The Single Euro Payments Area ( ) Request-to-Pay ( ) scheme managed by the European Payments Council ( ) covers a set of operating rules and technical elements (including messages) that allow a Payee to request digitally the initiation of a payment from a Payer in a wide range of physical or online use cases.
The scheme is effective since 15 June of this year and the second release of the scheme rulebook has just been published. This is the perfect opportunity to shed some light on this new scheme for Insights readers.

Description of the scheme

An RTP is a messaging functionality. It is not a payment means or a payment instrument, but a way to request a payment initiation. 
The scheme can be considered as a complement to the payment flow because it supports the end-to-end process and lies between an underlying commercial transaction and the payment itself. An RTP as such can be seen as an enabler for digital payments.

The scheme is being designed to be fully open also to eligible non-regulated entities, for instance:
- e-invoicing service providers, and
- commerce service providers.

The 4-corner model


What are the use cases and benefits of the scheme? 

The scheme aims at being open to any possible application, and to any party capable of fulfilling the relevant eligibility requirements.
In other words, the   scheme is:
-Payment agnostic: various payment instruments can be used after the RTP, if a payment follows (e.g., , , High Value Payment, other type of credit transfers).
-Currency agnostic: RTP related messages can be denominated in any official currency from a SEPA geographical area country.
-Channel agnostic for the transmission of RTP related messages.
-Use cases agnostic: various types of use cases are possible, including physical commerce, online commerce, Person-to-Person, e-invoicing, collection of taxes or levies….
-Business segment agnostic: the business segments covered include Customer-to-Business (C2B), Business-to-Customer (B2C), Business-to-Business, (B2B), Person-to-Person ( ), Government-to-Customer (G2C), Government-to-Business (G2B).

Benefits of the scheme:

•    The Scheme facilitates the request of a payment in a digital way. The entire payment and payment related flows are digital and can be done instantly.
•    Fast and available 24/7/365.
•    Harmonised operating rules.
•    Applicable across all scheme countries.
•    Giving more flexibility to the Payee as well as the Payer.
•    Paper invoices may be replaced by electronic attachments.
•    Helping to control expenses, simplifying reconciliation and bookkeeping.
•    Covering a wide range of use cases.
A close attention is paid to the security aspect. To this end as well as to ensure operational capability and resilience, all participants must go through an homologation process before being admitted into to scheme. 

Where we are today?

The scheme is effective since 15 June 2021 and the adherence process was opened on 5 May 2021. More explanations about the adherence process can be found on our website and further details about the homologation process can be consulted on the Homologation Body’s website.
Following a three-month call for change requests which ran from 30 November 2020 to 26 February 2021, a total of 43 change requests was assessed last Spring.
Those change requests, and the related RTP Task Force recommendations were submitted to a three-month public consultation from 25 May 2021 to 27 August 2021. 
Based on the feedback received in response to the public consultation, a second assessment of the change requests was made which led to the finalisation of the second version of the scheme rulebook.

The second release of the rulebook was published on 30 November 2021 and will be effective on 1 June 2022.
This latest version of the scheme rulebook includes new features such as:
•    Inclusion of an URL in the RTP message. 
•    Currency agnosticism. 
•    Request for payment guarantee. 
•    More payment instrument type options.  
•    The optional enrolment of the Payers. 
•    The transmission of the remittance information and of the Payee’s end to end reference (if provided) in all the RTP related messages for reconciliation purposes. 
•    The possibility to send a request for status update up to the Payer.

 As of a later date than the effective date of the scheme rulebook v2.0, there will be an obligation for Service Providers to at the minimum exchange messages based on , to ensure full reachability.  

What’s next?

The updated version  of the Clarification Paper based on the second version of the rulebook should be published by the end of Q1-2022.

As mentioned in the second version of the scheme rulebook, the will develop related specifications, in parallel with the market. The publication and effective date of those specifications will be communicated in due course next year.

Once the use of messages based on will be the minimum exchange protocol between scheme participants, the homologation process will also be adapted and will mainly be based on technical testing (instead of paper-based (‘dossier’) self -declarations).

A new scheme maintenance cycle was launched with a 3-month call for change requests from 1 December 2021 to 25 February 2022.
The third release of the scheme rulebook should be published end November 2022, subject to the Board’s approval.
The following change requests have already been identified as features to be handled as a part of the preparation of the third release of the scheme rulebook in 2022: 
•    Payee’s enrolment and Payer’s activation
•    Re-direct option
•    Request for instalment payments
•    Request for recurring payments
•    Pre-authorisation or deferred payments
•    Allow the Payer to ask for changes on amount/execution date/method of payment
•    Transparency for retail payment end-users
The first applications to adhere to the scheme have been received and are being handled including the homologation process.  


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