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The EPC launches the SEPA Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit rulebook consultations

Tuesday 5 April 2016 | 10:03 AM CET

The European Payments Council (EPC) has launched the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Credit Transfer and SEPA Direct Debit rulebook consultations.

All stakeholders are invited to have their say in the evolution of the three existing SEPA scheme rulebooks published by the EPC. From 5 April to 4 July 2016, the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) scheme, the SEPA Direct Debit Core (SDD Core) scheme and the SDD Business-to-Business (SDD B2B) scheme will be subject to a public consultation.

This public consultation is designed to ensure that the SEPA schemes reflect the evolution of Payment Service Providers’ (PSPs) needs and those of their customers, as well as technological changes. All payment stakeholders, PSPs, end users and technical players, can participate in the public consultation, which will last for three months.

A previous call for suggestions to amend the rulebooks, which are the technical and business rules governing the schemes to be followed by its participants, closed at the end of 2015. The EPC has registered nearly 40 change requests from various banking and stakeholder communities, including from the EPC itself. All have been included in the public consultations.

For instance, one important change request, recommended by the Euro Retail Payments Board, is to make EPC Customer-to-Bank (C2B) Implementation Guidelines mandatory. This would mean any SCT originator or SDD creditor wishing to use these EPC C2B file specifications for their initiation message files would have the certainty that every scheme participant is technically capable of processing their SCT and SDD transactions.

A number of proposals from payment service users relate to the extension of structured and unstructured remittance information, and to their combination in SEPA payment messages.The EPC itself suggested making additional information available outside of the SCT/SDD message in the “cloud”. Stakeholders wishing to learn more about these change requests and to participate in the public consultation by filling in the response template by 4 July 2016 will find all necessary information on the EPC website.

Suggestions that find broad acceptance in the overall payment community, and that are technically and legally feasible, will be taken forward. In November 2016, EPC will publish the updated rulebooks and implementation guidelines which will enter into force in 2017. This will ensure scheme participants have enough time to implement the necessary changes in their systems. These public consultations are part of the change management process of the schemes, organised by the EPC on a regular basis.

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