On 15 January 2020, the European Cards Stakeholders Group (ECSG), the industry association overseeing cards standardisation in the Single Euro Payments Area, has published version 9.0 of the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume (the SCS Volume). Version 9.0 of the SCS Volume takes effect immediately for a three year period.

In version 9 of the SCS Volume, updates to the books were made to accommodate the following:

  • conformance to new EU regulations including the General Data Protection Regulation, the revised Payment Services Directive and the European Banking Authority regulatory technical standards on single customer authentication and secure communication;
  • integration of global standards for card payments including host card emulation, remote payments using 3DS version 2.0 and a reference to the industry standards body Fast Identity Online (FIDO);
  • contactless card acceptance at ATMs;
  • the production of a tokenisation annex; and
  • updates as a result of public consultation comments.

The SCS Volume consists of eight books and one annex. These cover:

  • Book 1 – ‘General’ includes the definitions of terms used in the SCS Volume which provides a common terminology in card payments and can be used as a reference by the card payment industry;
  • Book 2 – ‘Functional Requirements’ details requirements applicable to transactions initiated with a card, which result in the provision of the different services to the cardholder described in this book. The book enables a card system specialist to identify the operational requirements in the domain that need to be addressed to facilitate harmonisation;
  • Book 3 – ‘Data Elements’ supports the card message standards defined in International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). It allows card schemes, issuers and acquirers to easily identify enhancements and comparisons with earlier ISO releases;
  • The Book 3 Data Elements Spreadsheet – sets out the data elements described in book 3 of the SCS Volume;
  • Book 4 – ‘Security’ defines requirements in order to achieve a single common set of SEPA card and terminal security requirements;
  • Book 5 – ‘Conformance Verification Processes’ defines the methods which allow actual conformance with the SCS Volume requirements of a given implementation specification;
  • Book 7 – ‘Cards Processing Framework’ defines business principles and requirements for market access and participation in card payment processing services; and
  • Tokenisation Annex – This document is separate from the SCS Volume books as it covers all aspects of tokenisation from angles deemed of interest to ECSG members.