What we do

The EPC designs and manages euro payment schemes that contribute to the creation of a single payments market in Europe and facilitate economic exchanges in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) for citizens and businesses alike.

The focuses on the harmonisation of electronic methods of payments. Our core activity is developing credit transfer (including ‘instant’) and direct debit schemes. These schemes are adhered to by thousands of payment service providers () in Europe and used to make some 37 billion transactions each year. We also strive for a better European integration of other payment instruments, such as card and mobile payments.

SEPA payment scheme management

payment scheme management

The primary mission of the is to manage its four SEPA payment schemes, which are the rules underlying most euro credit transfers and direct debits in the 34 European countries using the SEPA schemes.

Formed of rulebooks and implementation guidelines, the schemes are regularly updated to reflect market needs and evolutions in technical standards. All payment stakeholders have the opportunity to shape the future of payments by participating in the evolution of the schemes.

SEPA payment scheme management

Participating in the schemes

Participating in the schemes

If you are a wishing to adhere to the schemes in order to propose SEPA euro credit transfer (including instant) and direct debit solutions to your customers, read more about the criteria for participation. In addition, the Register of Participants is available for consultation to any individual or organisation wishing to know which are able to send and / or receive SEPA euro transactions. 

Why and how to participate in the schemes

payment schemes

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The SEPA Credit Transfer () scheme enables any individual or business to easily and conveniently move money from one account to another. It can be used for one-off or recurring payments and for single or bulk payments, which saves time for the payer. Every year more than 18 billion credit transfers in Europe are made based on the SCT scheme.

SEPA Credit Transfer scheme overview
Rulebook in effect

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The SEPA Instant Credit Transfer () scheme will come into effect in November 2017. This scheme is the first of its kind to enable the 24/7/365 transfer of money (up to 15,000 euros) in an area as large as SEPA in less than ten seconds. The maximum amount and duration of the transaction are not set in stone and will be reviewed annually from 2018 onwards. In addition, can bilaterally or multilaterally agree on a higher maximum amount and shorter execution time.

SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme overview
2017 rulebook

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The offers two direct debit schemes: one designed primarily for consumers, the SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Core scheme, and one exclusively for businesses, the SDD Business-to-Business (B2B) scheme. The scheme is mandatory for PSPs offering euro direct debit for consumers, whereas it is optional for PSPs to offer services based on the scheme. Some 19.2 billion transactions every year are based on the EPC SDD schemes.

SEPA Direct Debit schemes overview SDD Core rulebook in effect
SDD B2B rulebook in effect

SEPA for cards

for cards

Being able to pay with a national card while travelling in Europe is one of the most tangible benefits of payments harmonisation across SEPA. Card is Europeans’ favourite cashless payment instrument. The contributes to increased cards standardisation by participating in the work of the European Cards Stakeholders Group and also undertakes initiatives of its own, in particular supporting the fight against card fraud.

EPC contribution to a SEPA for cards

SEPA for mobile

for mobile

In our increasingly digital society, mobile phones are used to pay either in a face-to-face situation (at a merchant’s store, for example), in which case we refer to ‘mobile proximity payments’, or independently of the payer’s and payee’s locations. In the latter situation, we speak of ‘remote mobile payments’ used for shopping online or for Person-to-Person payments. The contributes to the interoperability of mobile payments at the European level and to the improvement of their convenience, safety, reliability and cost-effectiveness.

SEPA goes mobile
 

SEPA for cash

for cash

Cash is still the first method of retail payment in several European countries, though its share among retail payments is decreasing. action in this area has two purposes: reducing the cost of cash, which is considerable, and harmonising cash services in Europe, which should improve both the cost-effectiveness of cash and the quality of the cash distributed.

SEPA for cash