At the instigation of the European Central Bank and the European Commission, the Cards Stakeholder Group (today's European Cards Stakeholder Group ECSG) was set up in 2009 to develop and promote Europe-wide card payment standards. The ECSG pursues this goal through the maintenance and evolution of the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume (the Volume), a key document for the card industry defining guidelines for cards standardisation, interoperability and security in Europe. As a self-regulatory initiative, the ECSG also promotes conformance of the card industry to the Volume.
As a pan-European payments interoperability standards and harmonisation initiative, the Berlin Group is committed to the SEPA vision of the ECSG and always aims to align its technical specifications to the latest release of the ECSG Volume. Amongst other specifications, the Berlin Group has developed a SEPA Card Clearing (SCC) Framework that offers a simple message extension to the SEPA Direct Debit definition for including additional card originated data in ISO20022 payment messages, to the purpose of clearing and settlement of card payment transactions via SDD. With the SCC Framework, the Berlin Group offers a clear opportunity to leverage investments in ISO20022 payments infrastructures. As owners (at ISO level) of the SCC Framework, the Berlin Group has voluntarily assessed the extent of alignment of the SCC Framework with the industry requirements contained in the Volume and declares conformance of the SCC Framework to the latest release of the ECSG Volume.