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SEPA payment scheme management

The primary mission of the EPC is to manage the SEPA payment schemes, which are the rules underlying most of the euro credit transfers and direct debits in Europe.

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A broad range of payment stakeholders are involved in developing the schemes to ensure they keep meeting market needs and technological evolutions.

The offers four payment schemes that make paying across as easy and convenient as it is in one’s home country.

The SEPA Credit Transfer scheme

The SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme

The SEPA Direct Debit Core and Business-to-Business schemes

Schemes used by thousands of payment service providers

Schemes used by thousands of payment service providers

The payment schemes are used by over 4,000 payment service providers () in Europe.

Each year, they contribute towards facilitating:

  • In total, over 39 billion euro transactions in .
  • Including more than 19 billion credit transfers.
  • And over 20 billion direct debits.
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Evolution of the schemes

The updates the schemes every two years to reflect market needs and evolutions in technical standards. This evolution is guided through a transparent change-management process that is open to all stakeholders.

Read more about the evolution of the schemes

scheme evolution calendar

The scheme evolution process always follows the same path: first, all stakeholders are invited to submit requests for change to the European Payments Council based on the latest rulebooks published. All the change requests received are subject to a three-month public consultation to ensure they are broadly supported by the payment community. Updated rulebooks, including changes that are technically and legally feasible, are published afterwards.

The first step of the scheme evolution process organised by the European Payments Council ended on 31 December 2017 with the receipt of several 2018 change requests.

The second step being the three-month public consultation started on 13 March and ended on 10 June 2018. The European Payments Council is now reviewing the collected comments from this consultation. It will consult the stakeholder forums on the outcome of this public consultation and takes a decision on each submitted change request in the third quarter of 2018.

The third step consists of the formal preparation and publication of the next version of the European Payments Council Single Euro Payments Area scheme rulebooks and the related implementation guidelines. This step ends in November 2018.

If you are interested in participating in the evolution of the schemes, links are provided below to each scheme’s public consultation page, where further information is available:

SEPA Credit Transfer scheme

SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme

SEPA Direct Debit Core scheme

SEPA Direct Debit Business-to-Business scheme

The first step of the scheme evolution process organised by the European Payments Council ended on 31 December 2017. The second step started on 13 March and ended on 10 June 2018. 

The calendar below shows the timeline of the current scheme evolution process. All four schemes (Single Euro Payments Area Credit Transfer, Single Euro Payments Area Instant Credit Transfer, Single Euro Payments Area Direct Debit Core and Single Euro Payments Area Direct Debit Business to Business) follow the same calendar. 

  • Until 31 December 2017
    Call for change requests
  • Between 13 March and 10 June 2018
    Three-month public consultation
  • November 2018
    Publication of the next rulebook (entering into effect one year later)