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Definition: European Payments Council(EPC)
The EPC is the decision-making and coordination body of the European banking industry in relation to payments. The EPC develops the payment schemes and frameworks which help to realize Single European Payments Area (SEPA). SEPA is a European Union (EU) integration initiative in the area of payments. SEPA is the logical next step in the completion of the EU internal market and monetary union. It was founded in 2002.
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) stands for the European Union (EU) payments integration initiative. With the introduction of the euro currency in 1999, the political drivers of the SEPA initiative - EU governments, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) - have focused on the integration of the euro payments market. Since then, the political drivers have called upon the payments industry to bolster the common currency, by developing a set of harmonized payment schemes and frameworks for electronic euro payments.
There are 33 countries, 500 million citizens and 87.5 billion annual payment transactions that are regulated by the EPC.
The 28 EU Member States plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Monaco are members of the EPC.