SEPA yearly consultation by the EPC underway

17 May 2012

The European Payments Council (EPC), on behalf of the European banking industry in relation to the payments arena, has launched its annual public consultation, focusing on planned upgrades to the scheme rulebooks in the Autumn and the potential modifications for the single euro payments area (SEPA) Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) stipulations.

The EPC encourages all SEPA stakeholders to provide feedback by 13 August 2012. Updated versions of the SCT and SDD Rulebooks will be published in November 2012. In accordance with industry best practice, payment service providers (PSPs) and their suppliers have a one-year lead time to address the rulebook updates prior to such updates taking effect.

Any stakeholder may introduce suggestions for changes to the SCT and SDD Rulebooks. All suggestions for changes to the rulebooks are evaluated by the EPC SEPA Payment Schemes Working Group and consolidated into a single change request per rulebook (the SCT Rulebook, the SDD Core Rulebook and the SDD Business-to-Business (B2B) Rulebook).

These change requests are released for a three month public consultation. If the proposed changes are broadly accepted by all stakeholders, they are taken forward.

Commenting on the launch of the consultation, EPC chair, Gerard Hartsink, said: "The EPC scheme change management process ensures that the SCT and SDD Rulebooks evolve in response to proven market needs, based on a predictable release schedule. The EPC encourages all stakeholders to provide feedback on possible modifications to be introduced into the SCT and SDD Rulebooks by 13 August 2012."

The documentation relevant to the 2012 public consultation on the SEPA payment schemes is available via the EPC.

By Neil Ainger

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