zaterdag 1 december 2012

SEPA Implementation Guidelines to Take Effect on 1 February 2014

logo epc 100 74SEPA Credit Transfer Rulebook Version 7.0, SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Core Rulebook Version 7.0, SDD Business to Business Rulebook Version 5.0 and Associated Implementation Guidelines to Take Effect on 1 February 2014.

 The EPC released updated versions of the SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Rulebooks and associated implementation guidelines (IGs) to take effect in February 2014 (see links below). The IGs related to the SCT Rulebook version 7.0, the SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and the SDD Business to Business (B2B) Rulebook version 5.0 published in November 2012, are based on the 2009 version of ISO 20022.  

The annual EPC scheme change management process is based on the following principles:  Any stakeholder may introduce suggestions for changes to the SCT and SDD Rulebooks.  All suggestions for changes to the rulebooks are evaluated by the EPC Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Payment Schemes Working Group (SPS WG) and are consolidated into a single change request per rulebook. This year, the change requests were released on 16 May 2012 for the annual three-month public consultation. Proposed changes detailed in the change requests, which are broadly accepted by all stakeholders, are taken forward. 

Together with the SCT Rulebook version 7.0, SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.0, the EPC published the feedback received from stakeholders during the 2012 public consultation on the evolution of the schemes (see links below).

Rulebooks have been aligned with the SEPA Regulation which defines mandatory deadlines for migration to SEPA   The European Union (EU) ‘Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Regulation (EC) No 924/2009' (the SEPA Regulation), defines 1 February 2014 as the deadline in the euro area for compliance with the core provisions of this Regulation. Effectively, this means that as of this date, existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by SCT and SDD. The SCT and SDD Schemes have to comply with the technical requirements detailed in Article 5 and in the Annex to the SEPA Regulation (see links below). The wording of the SCT Rulebook version 7.0, the SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and the SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.0 has been aligned where necessary with the SEPA Regulation.  

The SEPA Regulation stipulates the timelines for application of the so-called ‘International Bank Account Number (IBAN) only' rule. This provision is relevant for both payment service providers (PSPs) and payment service users (PSUs). Article 5 (7) of the SEPA Regulation, states: "After 1 February 2014 for national payment transactions and after 1 February 2016 for cross-border payment transactions, PSPs shall not require PSUs to indicate the BIC [Business Identifier Code] of the PSP of a payer or of the PSP of a payee." Article 16 (6) however, provides EU Member States with the option to defer application of the ‘IBAN only' rule for national transactions to 1 February 2016.  

The updated versions of the SDD Rulebooks have been amended to make it optional to provide the BIC of the payer's bank with the mandate except if the mandate is issued in an EU Member State which opts to make use of the derogation permissible under Article 16 (6) with regard to national transactions. The updated version of the SCT Rulebook was also amended to specify that the BIC has to be provided in line with the provisions of the SEPA Regulation.  

 

New elements introduced into the SCT Rulebook  

To further improve straight-through-processing (STP) of SCT payments, the SCT Rulebook version 7.0 includes two additional reject reason codes which specify why a SCT payment was not accepted:  Originator bank not registered under this BIC with the clearing and settlement mechanism (CSM).  Beneficiary bank not registered under this BIC with the CSM.  

 

New elements introduced into the SDD Rulebooks  

The SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and the SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.0 have been amended to make the provision of the payer's address optional with a paper-based mandate, the dematerialised mandate as well as with e-mandates and with the optional Advance Mandate Information (AMI) procedure. The SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and the SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.0 have been updated to clarify that, subject to national legal regime, it is permissible to store mandates in digitised form and the use of electronic signatures is allowed under the SDD Schemes. As was done for the SCT Rulebook version 7.0 (see above), the updated versions of the SDD Core and SDD B2B Rulebooks have been enhanced to include these two additional reject reason codes:  Debtor bank not registered under this BIC with the CSM.  Creditor bank not registered under this BIC with the CSM.  

In addition, the SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 was amended to include a specific scheme rule in case of a card data generated mandate (CDGM) as per the SEPA Regulation's Article 5 in conjunction with its Annex paragraph 3 (a)(iv): "In case of a mandate generated using data from a payment card at the point of sale which results in a direct debit to and from a payment account, and where the name of the Debtor is not available, the attribute ‘name of Debtor' must be filled in with ‘CDGM', followed by the card number, the sequence number and the expiry date of the card or, if these data elements are not available, by any other data element(s) that would uniquely identify the Debtor to the Debtor Bank."  

The rulebook versions and associated IGs published in November 2012 take effect on 1 February 2014   To ensure planning security for all market participants, publication of updated versions of the SCT and SDD Rulebooks, together with the associated IGs, follows an established change and release management cycle. The EPC publishes updated versions of the rulebooks once annually, in November of each year. These updated versions normally take effect in the third week of November of the following year. In accordance with industry best practice, PSPs and their suppliers therefore have sufficient lead time to address rulebook updates prior to such changes taking effect. Based on the established release management cycle, the updated versions of the rulebooks published in November 2012, would normally take effect on 16 November 2013.  

SEPA stakeholders in the euro area however, are currently working towards achieving compliance with the SEPA Regulation by 1 February 2014. As a result, and as communicated in June 2012 (see links below), the EPC decided to postpone the effective date for the SCT Rulebook version 7.0, the SDD Core Rulebook version 7.0 and the SDD B2B Rulebook version 5.0 and associated IGs, from 16 November 2013 to 1 February 2014. This allows market participants sufficient time to adapt their systems and operations to comply with both the SEPA Regulation and the updated versions of the rulebooks.  

The author again invites organisations, which still have to adapt systems and operations to achieve compliance with the SEPA Regulation by 1 February 2014, to become active immediately. The relevant actions and resources should be identified now. The EPC makes available comprehensive information to help market participants manage the transition. These sources are included with the ‘related links' below (refer to the 'EPC Migration Tool Kit').

 
Bron: European Payments Council

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