Managing the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume (including Functional and Security requirements) is an intensive self-regulatory project based on market consensus. Whilst favouring technical interoperability and convergence, all contributors must work in accordance with applicable rules and regulations governing competition matters.
A check of SEPA conformance is currently not performed by EU regulatory authorities. The Volume requirements are thus not formally imposed on market stakeholders. However, its rules are defined by market experts, and the ECB and the European Commission provide guidance and actively contributed to this work.
Via a Process known as ‘Labelling’, organisations (Specification Providers such as, but not only, Schemes) have the opportunity to declare the conformance of their requirements to the latest release of the Volume. This is managed by the ECSG body known as the ‘Volume Conformance Management Committee’ (VCMC). By undertaking this process, an organisation has the opportunity to make public its effective integration of all the requirements found within the Volume. This offers several advantages as it is a healthy check to assess the extent of alignment with the industry requirements contained in the “Volume”. It also shows commitment to the SEPA vision and can be leveraged in external communications. While conformance of the specification to the “Volume” is managed through the labelling process, the compliance of a solution with the specifications o is controlled through a separate Certification process outside of the scope of the ECSG activities. Equally, existing “type-approval” processes lie outside of the ECSG boundaries and are not impacted by the “Labelling” process.
Whilst the Labelling process is optional, any Specification Provider which wishes to have a Volume Label for a given Implementation Specification must follow the "Labelling" process defined in the Volume.
This Labelling process is based on the principles of a self-declaration procedure by the Specification Provider.