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EPC contribution to a SEPA for cards

When citizens travel in Europe or shop online on websites based in other European countries, they should be able to withdraw cash or pay by card as easily as they do in their home country.

SEPA Cards

The for cards is a major objective – to which the actively contributes – and will be one of the most tangible benefits of payments harmonisation across .

Wider card acceptance is not only beneficial to consumers; retailers also take advantage of increased business opportunities, as it is easy for customers to pay by card. Furthermore, common rules for cards in increase competition, thereby giving retailers a broader choice both in the card brands they accept and in the acquirers (the payment service providers or who process the card payments on behalf of the merchant) with whom they decide to work.

Cards are the most widely used electronic payment instrument in the European Union: they account for more than forty percent (46% in 2018) of all cashless transactions (sources: ECB’s report on card payments, April 2019 and UK Finance data for 2018). 

The has organised its involvement in for cards and more generally in card domain by the creation of the Cards Working Group (CWG). The CWG is an permanent body, working under the control of the Board and is responsible for preparing the contributions and positions of the in the Cards domain.

The actively contributes to cards standardisation in Europe via the ECSG

The European Cards Stakeholders Group (ECSG) is the industry association in charge of cards standardisation in . The is an active member of this association, which is formed by representatives of five sectors of the card payments value chain: retailers/wholesale; vendors (card, payment devices, related IT systems); processors of card transactions; card schemes and (represented by the ).

The ECSG focuses on a cards standardisation programme that will create a better, safer, more cost efficient and functionally richer card services environment. The initiative aims to remove technical obstacles that prevent a consistent customer payment card experience across . The ECSG encourages process efficiency throughout the card supply chain and, last but not least, adherence to the highest level of card payment security.

To help achieve cards standardisation, the ECSG develops and maintains the Cards Standardisation Volume (the Volume). This document is key for the cards industry, as it defines guidelines for cards standardisation, interoperability and security in Europe.

The latest version of the Volume (version 9.0) was published in January 2020. Further information is available on the ECSG website.

The ECSG was created in 2016 on the foundation of the Cards Stakeholders Group (CSG), which was managed by the . The most recent versions of the Volume jointly published by the and CSG can also be found on the ECSG website.

The EPC is involved in supporting worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure card payment transactions via the EMVCo

EMVCo is the global technical body that facilitates worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure card payment transactions.  It accomplishes this by managing and evolving the EMV® Specifications and related testing processes.

The – as a business associate organisation member of the EMVCo - has been maintaining a strong relationship with EMVCo for a number of years, having a seat in the EMVCo Board of Advisors (BoA),

with the purpose of actively contributing to the work of the EMVCo as well as understanding the ongoing activities and decisions of the organisation as early as possible.
Furthermore, EMVCo is represented as an Observer organisation in the Cards Working Group (CWG).

The EPC is involved in promoting worldwide card security standards via PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC)

The PCI SSC is a global forum for the ongoing development, enhancement, storage, dissemination and implementation of security standards for card account data protection.

The is a participating organisation in the PCI SSC and is represented at the level of the Board of Advisors.  The Board of Advisors represents PCI SSC Participating Organizations worldwide to ensure global industry involvement in the development of PCI Security Standards. As strategic partners, board members bring industry, geographical and technical insight to PCI SSC plans and projects.