On November 30, 2020, the European Payment Council’s (EPC) 3.1 version of the rulebook for its Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Request-To-Pay (SRTP) scheme went into effect. While this is undoubtedly a significant step forward, not many know what exactly its consequences for the wider payment scene are.
In this guide, we shed light on the goals that the SRTP scheme is set to achieve, the purpose of the newly published rulebook, and the next steps that the regulatory authorities are planning for this important project.
As you may know, the Request-To-Pay approach is widely implemented across the globe, with some of its major use cases being Venmo and India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI). However, for a long time, there was no standardized mechanism for initiating payment requests. This is where SRTP comes in!
Essentially, SRTP operates as a messaging system or framework rather than as a traditional payment scheme. Therefore, the settlement and clearing processes are executed based on the underlying scheme, such as the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst).
The SRTP scheme’s rulebook has already undergone multiple alterations, including the following:
The latest rulebook version 3.1 was released on May 31, 2023, and went into effect on the last day of November.
It contains some clarifications regarding the utilization of market Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for ensuring seamless compatibility among SRTP participants. It also integrates two supplementary datasets linked to the redirect option, aligning them with the corresponding Implementation Guidelines (IGs) released on March 3, 2023.
The rulebook also caters to such current market needs as:
Moreover, starting from November 30, 2023, the utilization of APIs for communication among SRTP scheme participants became obligatory to ensure comprehensive connectivity.
While the EPC released a set of API specifications in June 2022 and an API security framework in March 2023 for this purpose, it is still allowed to employ commercially available or customized APIs, as long as they are interoperable with the default ones.
Finally, now that the SRTP is fully stable, it will adhere to a regular maintenance cycle of two years, synchronized with the payment scheme’s cycle.
The EPC has plenty of SRTP scheme-related developments in the works. For instance, on April 21, 2023, it enabled Technical Solution Providers (TSPs) to undergo specific SRTP homologation. Successfully homologated TSPs are referred to as Referenced Technical Solution Providers (RTSPs) and featured on a list on the EPC website, which makes them eligible for simplified homologation.
In addition to standard and simplified A homologations, the EPC also introduced two new types, namely:
What’s more, July 2023 was marked by the launch of homologation with APIs. This event enabled applicants using SRTP-related APIs for exchanges with other participants to undergo homologation directly.
The Payment Council anticipates that all of the ongoing and future scheme developments will accelerate reachability and interoperability among its participants and encourage both payment service providers and non-PSPs to join it within the shortest timeframe.
Given such a rapid pace of innovation, the future adoption of the SRTP looks extremely promising. Besides, as the scheme continues to evolve and adapt to emerging trends, it is likely to become an even more robust, versatile, and resilient platform in no time.
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