Established in 2004 as an open standardisation initiative for the scheme-independent switching of card-originated payment messages, the Berlin Group celebrates its 10-years Anniversary in 2014. In order to commemorate this specific milestone event, the Berlin Group organised a special Anniversary Meeting on 11 June 2014 at DZ Bank in Frankfurt to which also the European Central Bank attended. The results of 10 years of Berlin Group standardisation have been presented to the participants, as well as the future plans for including further functional and security extensions, initially focussed on facilitating improved customer authentication and realtime payments. In particular, the merits and benefits of the SEPA Card Clearing Framework have been discussed extensively.
Mr. Wiebe Ruttenberg, Head of the Market Integration Division of the European Central Bank, presented the division's views and feedback on the status of retail payments and cards standardisation in general and the efforts of the Berlin Group in particular, as well as on further expectations from the European Central Bank of the ongoing process and future results. The Berlin Group participants highly appreciated the constructive, open-minded debate on the current state of retail payments in Europe and the expected next steps on SEPA for Cards standardisation