The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union, the proprietor of SEPA

European politics has the ambition to make the EU one of the most competitive economies in the world. That cannot be done without an internal European payments market. A more efficient payments system in Europe is therefore one of the objectives of the European Commission. Under these political pressure, the European banks have decided to develop European product standards and processing agreements to enable that single euro payments area, SEPA.

European Payments Council

To enable SEPA the European banking industry cooperates on a technical level with the European Payments Council (EPC). This is the decision-making and coordinating institution of European banks in the European payment system.

Implementation guidelines EPC

The EPC has laid down specific regulations, processing agreements and standards in so-called SEPA Rulebooks and Implementation Guidelines. The EPC Implementation Guidelines use the ISO 20022 XML standard. Using this standard parties in the payments system can implement the European payment instruments. Guidelines have been developed for the European bank transfer and the various European direct debits, the standard European direct debit and the European business-to-business direct debit.

SEPA Rulebooks

This is an overview of the most recent versions of the SEPA Rulebooks, the Implementation Guidelines and additional documentation, specifically focused on the relevant schemes.

Per scheme the EPC publishes monthly an overview of all participants: ‘Registers of participants’. The EPC has an biennial review cycle. The Implementation Guidelines for the Netherlands are based on the above mentioned EPC Implementation Guidelines.

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