The requirements contained in the SEPA Cards Standardization Volume are the result of extensive dialogue and consensus-making efforts from all participating stakeholders of the different sectors that compose the ECSG.
The Volume constitutes a strong de-facto reference for the card based payments industry in Europe as a whole, establishing a solid bridge for interoperability amidst the increasing diversity of players, competition and innovations.
Within that context, it must be understood that conformance with the requirements established in the Volume is of a voluntary nature and the Volume does not constitute part of any regulation.
The process how to prove conformance with the Volume is defined in Book 5 of the Volume. According to that the ECSG has established a formal mechanism by which specification providers that so desire can request a conformance stamp or, as it is known in the ECSG world, a “label”. In that case, the submitter will self-declare its conformance to the relevant sections of the volume by duly filling in a labelling request document that consists mainly of two parts.
On the one side, the adherence to the applicable requirements depending on the nature and scope of the specification being submitted for “labelling” and on the other a check-list of adherence to other provisions such as in relation to the adequate maintenance of the specifications, their governance, Intellectual Property, interoperability, etc.
The ECSG-label demonstrates that the label-requesting party has performed the right procedures and filled in the right forms.
The Volume Conformance Management Committee is a dedicated multi-sector committee reporting directly to the ECSG Board. Its responsibility is to operate, maintain and evolve the labelling processes in general based on Book 5 of the Volume and in particular to grant and publish the labels. All labels are valid for three years.