SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group

The EMV standards developed and maintained by EMVCo are the technical basis for card-based payment systems in many countries. The SEPA-FAST (Common Implementation Recommendations) Technical Working Group is an open standardisation initiative of EMV implementers in Europe and acts as the technical reference group for the European EMV Users Group and the European members of the EMVCo Board of Advisors. The SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group is not meant to duplicate any efforts at EMVCo level, but to complement the work at EMVCo by the input of technical experts who are actively involved in the deployment of the EMV specifications.

Participants of the SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group are

        ATOS Worldline (Belgium)

        Equens SE (The Netherlands)

        German Banking Industry Committee (Germany)

        Groupement des Cartes Bancaires (France)

        PAN Nordic Card Association (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Baltic Countries)

        PayLife (Austria)

        Poste Italiane (Italy)

        Redsys (Spain)

        SIA-SSB (Italy)

        SIX Card Solutions (Switzerland)

        The UK Cards Association (United Kingdom)

The SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group is supported by the observers

        American Express Europe

        Cetrel (Luxembourg)

        MasterCard Worldwide

        SIBS (Portugal)

        Visa Europe

The aim of the SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group is to come to harmonised technical specifications for EMV implementations for any card-based payment system. The work is not intended to change the EMV specifications but to fill in the "grey areas" of the EMV specifications and to reduce both the effort necessary to implement cards and terminals as well as the number of different implementations, thus allowing for less expensive devices.

The work of the SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group started in 2003 with the objective of harmonising EMV implementations on cards. Based on this preparatory work, and with the support of the SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group, EMVCo set up the Common Core Working Group (CCWG) which produced the EMVCo Common Core Definitions (CCD) and the EMVCo Common Payment Application (CPA) Specification, which allow a common EMV implementation on cards for all payment systems.

As a next step, the SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group, in coordination with the European EMV Users Group, produced a set of common implementation recommendations for terminals, in the form of detailed flow charts describing the terminal behaviour, to clarify and enhance the EMV specifications and to improve interoperability. These Common Implementation Recommendations for Terminals have been reviewed with EMVCo and are the basis for the current work of the SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group on a detailed terminal specification.

Starting in 2007, the SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group has been working for the European Payments Council (EPC) Cards Working Group as Identified Initiative for the Card-to-Terminal and Cardholder-to-Terminal standardisation domains. The Functional Requirements in the European Payments Council (EPC), SEPA Cards Standardisation "Volume" are based on the input of the SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group.

The SEPA-FAST Technical Working Group works in close cooperation with other standardisation initiatives, such as EPAS, which concentrates on the Terminal-to-Acquirer interfaces, and CAS, which concentrates on the requirements for mutual recognition of certifications.