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CSG issues guidelines on electronic identification for payment cards

A key set of documentation that ensures standardisation, interoperability, and security for the European cards industry has been updated to comply with the Interchange Fee Regulation.

The SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume is maintained by the European Payments Council (EPC) and the Cards Stakeholders Group (CSG - a multi-stakeholder body that includes the EPC, retailers, vendors, processors and card schemes).

The Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR) comes into force on 9 June 2016 and it requires all cards to be electronically identifiable enabling payers and payees to unequivocally identify which brands and categories of prepaid cards, debit cards, credit cards or commercial cards are chosen by the payer (Article 10 (5) IFR).

To ensure that the market can get ready to meet this requirement as soon as possible, the CSG has requested EMVCo to provide a dedicated data element. The EPC and the CSG release today a Bulletin, which defines the guidelines for using this new data element to facilitate compliance with the IFR in a harmonised way.

The statement from the EPC and the CSG said: “Given the investments and time needed by the card schemes to implement this guideline related to the electronic identification of all card types, the actual compliance with this IFR requirement would appear to demand more time than the due date foreseen in the IFR. A short term solution based on Bank Identification Number tables made available to merchants should however allow meeting the regulatory deadline.”

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