The "Berlin Group" first met in Berlin, hence its name, in October 2004 and currently has participation of 28 major players in the card industry from 12 different euro-zone countries and from the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Turkey, Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Serbia, together representing more than 18 billion card transactions annually within SEPA.

The group which has been initiated by major national card payment systems, shares the ambitions and vision of the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC) and the European Payments Council (EPC) on card payments in a Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). It proposes that this vision would be best reached by capitalising on and preserving the high levels of efficiency, brand awareness, security, convenience and ease of use already achieved in current national debit card schemes.

The group has explored the feasibility of this concept with likeminded card schemes within the euro-zone and has defined a common set of standards for the interface between the acquirer host and the issuer host, which is independent from a specific card scheme.

The principle goal is to meet the aims of the EPC, the ECB and the European Commission with regard to a Single Payment Area, and in particular to be compliant with the SEPA Cards Framework which has been developed by the EPC.

Participation in the Berlin Group does not imply either endorsement of any of the solutions identified in the Feasibility Study, or a commitment to implement them.