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The European Cards Stakeholders Group (ECSG) is an International Non-Profit Association located in Brussels. The main task of the ECSG is the definition of SEPA requirements for card based services.

The Association is governed by the provisions of the Belgian Companies and Associations Code.


Its membership is open to any entity which is active in the market for card related or card based services in an EEA Member State. According to this scope the ECSG as a multi-stakeholder group brings together the following industry sectors along the value chain of card based services:

  • Retailers 

  • Vendors (manufacturers of cards, payment devices, and/or related IT systems);

  • Processors (of card transactions);

  • Card Schemes and

  • Payment Service Providers.

ECSG members must belong to one of these five Sectors.

The ECSG allows two membership categories “Full Members” and “Associate Members”. Full Members enjoy all membership rights, including the right to attend the meetings of the General Assembly and the Board. Only Full Members have the right to vote in both committees. Associate Members have the right to attend meetings of the General Assembly without any voting rights. Each Member contributes to the annual budget of the ECSG and pays annual membership fees.

The ECSG allows two categories of Observers, "Institutional Observers" and „Standards Observers“. The European Central Bank is invited to attend the meetings of the bodies of the ECSG as an Institutional Observer. International or European standards bodies referenced in the Volume or deemed relevant to the Volume are invited to participate in ECSG bodies because of their expertise and as important partners for defining SEPA standards. Observers are not Members and have no other rights than the right to attend and participate in meetings of the bodies of the ECSG without any voting rights, and to receive the relevant information and documents.

The institutional bodies of the ECSG are shown in the following figure:









The General Assembly (GA) is composed of all Members. It is supported in its role by the Board and the Audit Committee. Only Full Members have the right to vote. Associate Members have the right to participate in the meetings of the GA without any voting rights. The GA in particular have the powers to admit, suspend and revoke Members and Observers, approve the annual accounts, work-plan and budget. It elects and revokes the members of the Board and the Chair and the Vice-Chair. The GA approves the By-Laws and the Internal Rules of the ECSG.

The Board of Directors reports to the GA. It has all powers necessary to accomplish the purpose of the ECSG. In particular to take decisions on deliverables, proposals, and positions to be prepared by the ECSG. The Board monitors the implementation of its decisions and the daily management activity. It determines the strategy of the ECSG. The Board establishes the terms of reference and the composition of the Sub-Groups, Task Forces, and Expert Teams. The Board is composed of the five ECSG Sectors with a maximum of 5 members per sector. The Board representatives of each sector are defined by the members of the sectors. The Board adopts decisions first and foremost by consensus amongst its members.

The Audit Committee is appointed by the GA for monitoring the compliance by all the members of all bodies of the ECSG and the Secretariat with the ECSG By-Laws and Internal Rules. It reviews the draft budget, its realisation and annual accounts, ensures the efficiency of the use of resources of the ECSG, and controls the correct application of relevant internal procedures of the ECSG as applicable.

The Volume Conformance Management Committee VCMC decides on matters related to Labelling. It is responsible for defining, maintaining, and publishing procedures related to the Labelling of Volume conformance as specified in the Volume. The VCMC furthermore oversees the Labelling process. It is a body with decision-making power in relation to the specific functions of Labelling. The VCMC acts under the responsibility of the Board.

The Secretariat provides administrative support and project management services for ECSG activities. This includes support for process management, management of the ECSG information and communication services as well as support to the General Assembly, the Board, the VCMC, Sub-Groups, Task Forces, and Expert Teams. The Secretariat reports to the Chair and the Vice-Chair. The Secretariat is funded through the annual budget.

The main task of the ECSG is the definition of SEPA requirements for card based services. This task is being done in the Volume Sub Group, its Expert Teams and Task Forces. The Volume Sub Group reports to the Board of Directors; it is not part of the institutional ECSG bodies.

ECSG structure and bodies.png
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