Advanced secure-chip testing provider, Fime, is the first laboratory to be authorised by the Open Standards for Cards (OSCar) Consortium to perform Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa)* Host Acquirer Platform (HAP) certifications.
SEPA, a European integration initiative to streamline cross-border payment processes, aims to ensure a customer's experience is consistent when making and accepting payments throughout the euro area. The OSCar Consortium brings together the European payments community to focus on the implementation of a stable and sustainable infrastructure for payment service providers to adhere to the SEPA Card Standardisation programme in the terminal-to-acquirer domain. This will encourage and promote the development and deployment of SEPA compliant point-of-sale (POS) payment solutions throughout Europe.
The HAP certification confirms that acquiring bank infrastructures adhere to the functional SEPA standards, which aim to ensure that all POS terminals within SEPA are using the same 'language' to relay information. This will shortly be complemented by a further authorisation which will allow FIME to certify that the point-of-interaction (POI) component within the terminals also adheres to OSCar requirements.
Loÿs Moulin, Coordinator of the OSCar Consortium, comments: "Compliance to the SEPA best-practice standards is essential to drive the establishment of an integrated European payments infrastructure. Moving from domestic POS solutions to a standardised SEPA environment will bring greater efficiency to European business, offering increased cross-border competition and streamlined processes. The benefits of SEPA are widely understood and reflected in the support and engagement of major payment industry players in the OSCar Consortium."
Frederic Simon, Director at FIME EMEA, adds: "FIME is delighted to be bringing the vision of the OSCar Consortium to market and providing actual OSCar HAP certification to acquiring banks. The role of best-practice schemes such as OSCar is fundamental when new products and infrastructures are launched to promote confidence that they will perform as intended and will interoperate effectively within the marketplace."
Frederic highlights that FIME's work in this area is part of its strategic expansion to offer more services and consultancy to banks. He concludes: "Many of our existing European bank customers are interested in achieving this certification, and I believe that our work to support the deployment of SEPA compliant products will continue to advance in the future."
FIME partners with a number of leading schemes and industry bodies to provide certifications and enhance the secure chip ecosystem. This includes its position as an accredited laboratory for global payment systems as well as its role as an Associate within EMVCo, the EMV® standards body.