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Public Consultation for SEPA Card Clearing

Major players in the European card payments industry have joined together in the "Berlin Group" standardisation initiative to deliver the first common standard for the clearing of card based transactions resulting in the "SEPA Card Clearing Framework" (SCC Framework). The SCC Framework is a big step to making the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) a reality for the clearing and settlement of card transactions.

This standard complements the existing SEPA payment instruments Credit Transfer and Direct Debit, already developed by the European banking industry. The SEPA clearing infrastructure built up for these payment instruments do not cover yet clearing and settlement of card transactions, although card transactions stand for the highest volumes of European mass payments. The definition of a SEPA Card Clearing Framework is expected to reduce the costs of the clearing processing significantly, if a card scheme independent SEPA format and process for card clearing, is used within Europe. The SCC Framework is an alternative solution to the ISO 8583 solution already published by the Berlin Group in its Version 3 standard. It will support all main business processes for card processing on the clearing side, as identified by the European Payment Council (EPC) in its cards standardisation efforts.

The Berlin Group now delivers a draft version of the SCC Framework for public consultation. The work consists of three parts, i.e.

  • an introduction paper explaining the business modeling and reasons for this initiative,

  • an Operational Rules document for the interbank sphere including Clearing and Settlement Mechanisms (CSM),

  • a detailed Implementation Guideline based on ISO 20022 formats.

The work published concentrates on the interbank sphere without describing error operations in detail yet. The missing details will be completed once the feedback on the main interbank processes is received and can be recognized for finalizing the work. The work on SCC is aimed to be finalized in 2010.

Comments are welcome from stakeholders and any other interested parties. Please use the Comment Sheet provided under "Documents" on this site for your comments and proposals and send it to no later than 20 December 2009.

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