The European Cards Stakeholders Group (ECSG), the industry association in charge of cards standardisation in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), today published version 8.0 of the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume (‘the Volume’). This self-regulatory initiative will help ensure the interoperability and security of cards in Europe. Version 8.0 incorporates comments received during the public consultation, and takes effect immediately. In particular, it provides guidelines to facilitate the implementation of some aspects of the Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR).
Over one thousand comments were received from stakeholders of the complete card value chain during the public consultation for this release.
Version 8.0 of the Volume therefore includes:
Since June 2016, the IFR has required that all cards must be electronically identifiable (including those used in contactless payments), enabling payers and payees to unequivocally identify which brands and categories of prepaid cards, debit cards, credit cards, or commercial cards are chosen by the payer. The resulting implementation can be managed in several ways, so the Volume includes a non-exhaustive set of concrete examples that show card acceptors how to achieve it. These examples provide helpful clarifications on some complex aspects of the IFR.
This ID will make it convenient for card issuers and acquirers to follow the transaction created when, for example, customers booking a hotel room are asked to pre-authorise a guaranteed amount with their card.
The transaction flow of each card payment may differ for commercial or technical reasons (e.g. if the card terminal includes multi-function touchscreen capabilities or only a minimum display, or if the card is used to make an online payment or to pay in a physical store). The annex explains why these differences in the payment process can in turn create different experiences for the customer. This annex aims to enhance understanding in the market of a card transaction flow. It doesn’t contain requirements.
The Volume version 8.0 takes effect immediately for a three year period. The ECSG delayed the publication by two months to ensure that the high volume of comments was given sufficient analysis.
Please click here for more information on this release of the Volume.