SEPA Phase II Now Underway, says EPC

The second phase of the single euro payments area (SEPA) project is now underway and the institutional SEPA landscape is about to become even more complex, says Javier Santamaria, chair of the European Payments Council (EPC).

While the six month extension of the deadline for migration of payments to SEPA runs out on 1 August, Santamaria says that the European authorities driving the SEPA process have clarified that migration to harmonised SEPA payment schemes and technical standards, as mandated by European Union (EU) law, does not conclude this EU integration project.

Writing in the latest issue of the EPC Newsletter, Santamaria addresses the main regulatory initiatives intended to bring about ‘SEPA 2.0’ now in the pipeline.

Earlier this month the EPC launched a poll to collect the views of payments audiences on which of the following initiatives will have the greatest impact on the European payments market going forward. They include:

  • European Commission (EC) proposal for a revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2).
  • EC proposal for a new regulation on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions.
  • Work programme of the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), chaired by the European Central Bank (ECB).
  • SecuRe Pay Forum recommendations for the security of internet payments; for the security of payment account access services; and for the security of mobile payments.
  • Guidelines and technical standards issued by the European Banking Authority (EBA) pursuant to the mandate provided by the proposed PSD2 (Articles 86, 87).

The poll will remain open until the end of September. “Whether or not SEPA will deliver on its potential also depends on the EU institutions and governments adhering to a harmonised vision of who should do what to achieve ‘SEPA 2.0’,” says Santamaria.

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