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18 October 2010

ECB Tumpel-Gugerell: SEPA, where do we stand?

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She revealed that by 1 November 2010 the reachability of payment accounts for SEPA direct debits will be legally ensured across the EU. This will allow the effective use of SEPA direct debits throughout Europe.

ECB Tumpel-Gugerell presented the following key points:
·         There are areas where developments have been unsatisfactory and greater efforts are required. In some of these areas, much still needs to be done in order to further integrate the Euro Area retail market.
·         Another important issue is cards standardisation and a security certification framework. The standardization of cards is a crucial element to ensure the interoperability of cards and a harmonized use of cards across Europe.
·         The security of retail payments is a key issue as regards consumers’ and businesses’ trust and confidence in SEPA. The risk-based approach adopted by individual banks may be sub-optimal. Commercial risk tolerance may differ from social risk tolerance. SEPA requires a harmonised minimum level of security for retail payments in Europe.
·         The ECB, acting as a catalyst, will point out what remains to be done. The ECB will do this in a new SEPA progress report, which is currently under preparation.
·         The most important issue for now is to get clarity on the end date for migration. The ECB welcomes the fact that the Commission is about to issue a draft regulation. This should be done as soon as possible.
·         Furthermore, the market should focus on cards, and the EPC needs to play a key role – from the standardisation of cards and certification to the involvement of end users and the representation of Europe in global standardisation initiatives. The ECB expects the EPC to remain active in these domains.

© ECB - European Central Bank

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