National Forum on SEPA migration (NFS)
- The National Forum on SEPA Migration (NFS) on 16 May 2012 decided that the inpayment transfer will be adjusted to European standards so it may continue to be used in payment transactions after 1 February 2014. Agreements were also made on other topics.
- On the same day, the National Forum on the Payment System asked the Minister of Security and Justice to increase the capacity for combating fraud and criminality in payment transfers.
The use of paper and non-paper inpayment transfers has declined rapidly over the past few years, among other things because an ever larger number of these transfers is processed electronically. Digital and non-digital alternatives are also available. The inpayment transfer, however, still fills a definite social need. This is why inpayment transfers, credit transfer and direct debits will be adjusted to the new European (SEPA) standards. This means that inpayment transfers can then also be used with the longer International Bank Account Number (IBAN). The NFS expects the paper inpayment transfer to be necessary until 1 January 2019 at the latest. Before that time, acceptable alternatives will be developed for users of inpayment transfers. The NFS will monitor the usage, the costs, and the societal need for inpayment transfers.
Use of IBAN (without BIC): 1 January 2013 at the latest for the majority of domestic payments.
In conformity with the SEPA-Regulation, IBAN will be implemented on 1 February 2014 for European payments and therefore also for payments within the Netherlands. In addition, it is necessary to use the BIC (Business Identifier Code to identify the bank) in interbank payments. At present, to make cross-border payments customers need to provide their bank with the IBAN as well as the BIC. European regulations prescribe that in the future businesses and consumers when issuing payment orders in euros within the SEPA-area can restrict themselves to using an IBAN only. The banks will then add the BIC themselves in order to be able to process payment orders smoothly. Within the NFS agreements have now been made on when IBAN will suffice (‘IBAN-only’) for domestic payments. In principle, banks can facilitate this by 1 January at the latest for more than 90% of domestic euro payments.
Direct debit, consumer protection and e-mandate on the way
The new European standards for direct debits will enable cross-border debit transactions and the issuing of authorisations to foreign companies. For the purpose of consumer protection, authorisations can also be issued with an upper limit for the amount to be debited and the frequency of direct debits can be controlled. In addition to this, consumers will be given the opportunity to make lists of companies from which they do not want to accept direct debits (black lists), and companies from which they do (white lists). The implementation of white lists is a particularly complex trajectory and carries the risk that direct debits are rejected unintentionally. The NFS has installed a working group that will devote itself to an implementation plan for white lists. The plan will also address the need that companies have for electronic (rather than paper) authorisation throughout the payment chain. The working group will report back to the NFS before 1 July 2012 about the structure, the schedule, and the implementation date for both white lists and electronic mandates. The group has representatives of banks, businesses and consumers.
National Forum on the Payment System
Fraud in electronic payments has increased sharply over the past few years, take for instance skimming of bank cards and fraud in internet banking and payments. The Forum has asked the Minister of Safety and Justice to increase the public-private effort to combat fraud and criminality in payments.
Elimination of magnetic stripe outside Europe
Now that the EMV chip is in use almost everywhere in Europe, some banks have announced that they will eliminate the use of the magnetic stripe outside Europe as part of their ongoing efforts to combat skimming. In this way it will be made much more difficult for criminals to profit from card skimming. However, it will be possible for consumers to activate their debit cards for use outside Europe when necessary. The Forum welcomes these developments and is calling on banks to consider to what extent this can be implemented on a wider scale. This does not change the fact that retailers and businesses should also continue to invest in the safety of their payment terminals.
Disruption in debit card payments
The number of debit card payments rose again in the Netherlands in 2011. Prevention of disruptions in debit card payment is therefore gaining importance. Banks and retailers are currently discussing implementation of an emergency procedure that will enable debit card payments to go through even if transactions are disrupted. The Forum welcomes this initiative and urges the parties concerned to implement a procedure of this kind as soon as possible.
Notes for the press
The National Forum for the Payment System seeks to improve the societal efficiency of payments in the Netherlands. The Forum has a broad base of representatives from providers and users of payment instruments and is chaired by DNB.
The Forum’s 2011 Annual Report was delivered to the Minister of Finance for information purposes and has been published on Dab’s website (http://www.dnb.nl/binaries/MOB-jaarrapportage%20_tcm46-272872.pdf). The Cash Payments Counted 2011 fact sheet can be found on www.dnb.nl.
The National Forum on SEPA migration (NFS) was instigated by the National Forum on the Payment System and supports the Netherlands in its migration towards the use of IBAN and payment instruments based on European standards. These standards must be implemented by 1 February 2014 at the latest. The Forum offers Dutch payment instrument providers and users a platform to exchange information, discuss possible approaches and reach agreement on the migration of the Dutch payment system.
If you need further information, please contact Kees Verhagen on +31 20 524 2272 or +31 6 21123922 or Herman Lutke Schipholt on +31 20 5242712 or +31 6 52496900).