In April, the ECB issued a report, which provides an overview of the aims of Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in relation to card payments. Following steps to harmonise and integrate direct debits and credit transfers, the ultimate aim of SEPA for cards is to create a ‘harmonised, competitive and innovative European card payments area’.

What this means for you

The separation between card management schemes and card payments schemes is considered to be a key element in increasing competition and efficiency, an issue which the ECB states is being addressed by the European Commission’s proposed MIF Regulation. In a recent presentation released by the European Commission, it is proposed that those affected by the new rules have a transitional period of six months until 1 August 2014 to put the new rules in place.