AOS, VAS and Rulebook Scheme options
The EPC Framework allows for Additional Optional Services (AOS) to accommodate the different customer needs and expectations across SEPA. AOS are services agreed between a closed user group of SEPA participants, usually a national community, that are not covered by the EPC SCT or SDD Scheme Rulebooks. The development of AOS allows best-of-breed innovation to enter into the schemes and enables them to evolve over time.
All AOS introduced by one or more communities are listed on the EPC website. They should be available for use by any PSP that wishes to offer this service and should not impact the participants that are not members of the user group.
Additional Optional Services supported by STEP2
The STEP2 platform was designed with the flexibility to include additional features for a group of participants on a closed user group basis. The platform currently supports the following AOS:
- Acceptance Date Field, which is used to ensure local compliance in Finland (AOS1)
- Extended Remittance Information, which enables creditors to reference multiple invoices and credit notes in one payment (AOS2). In April 2016, an enhanced Extended Remittance Information service was successfully activated on the STEP2 platform. The enhanced service supports the inclusion of up to 999 structured invoice and credit note references in a single SEPA Credit Transfer.
- Account Transferability, which is used to ensure local compliance in Italy by seamlessly transferring a payment received for a customer who has left the bank to the new bank (AOS3)
- Greek Character Set, which can be used as long as a bilateral agreement exists between the sending and the receiving bank
- Slovakian specific symbols for payment identification for SCT, which can be used as long as a bilateral agreement exists between the sending and the receiving bank
- SEPA-compliant Electronic Database Alignment (SEDA), which has been developed by the Italian Banks and the Italian Banking Association to replace the legacy service (AEA). The purpose of SEDA is to exchange the mandate-related information between the bank of the creditor (called the Alignment Bank in SEDA) and the bank of the debtor prior to the first debit collection.
AOS: balancing the banks' differents needs in SEPA
Any community interested in an AOS may request its implementation on the STEP2 platform. As a pan-European provider, EBA CLEARING also works with its user community on harmonising requirements across communities where possible. The objective is to deliver AOS satisfying the needs of several national communities.
Value-added Services supported by STEP2
The STEP2 platform supports the following value-added services (VAS):
- The Change of Account Identification (CAI) option, which allows banks to inform each other via a standardised identification modification advice message (acmt.022.001.02) about changes in the bank or account details of a customer. CAI is based on the ISO 20022 “Account Modification Advice” message and already in use in France. EBA CLEARING has removed the annual fee for the CAI option in order to promote it as a standardised solution for the exchange of account information messages across SEPA. In consultation with its user community, EBA CLEARING will align its format on the French ones to further facilitate its usage.
- SEPA COM Pacifique, which supports the exchange of credit transfers and direct debits in the SEPA formats between banks in the French SEPA territories FR, GP, RE, MQ, GF, PM, BL, MF and YT and in the non- SEPA overseas territories New Caledonia (NC), French Polynesia (PF) as well as the Wallis and Futuna Islands (WF), which together are known as “SEPA COM PACIFIQUE”.
- Dutch Statutory Direct Debit Tax Collection, which enables Dutch participants in a closed user group to use a specific value in the Local Instrument field for SDD Core collections.