The Cards Framework (SCF), first created in 2005 and owned by the European Payments Council (), has been one of the founding industry initiatives that helped to expand the acceptance and coverage of cards in the Single Euro Payments Area (). The work of the banks and schemes, through the SCF, has contributed to the removal of many of the barriers to the development of the harmonised acceptance of all cards by merchants in the region.
Whilst almost all cards, points of sale, and automated teller machines (ATM) are now EMV-compliant in the European Union, only 18 percent of cards issued were EMV-compliant in 2004, and, even then, only 10 percent of points of sale and ATM terminals were able to read the chip embedded into the cards. This remarkable progress was possible, among other factors, thanks to the work done by the banks and schemes which adhered to the objectives put forward by the SCF.
Whilst it has been much helpful to develop a ‘ for cards’, it has now reached the end of its active life. This Blog from Claude Brun, Chair of the Cards Working Group, outlines the SCF’s main achievements, the reasons why it has been retired, and explains how European cards standardisation will from now on be promoted.
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