SMDA Newsletter – March Update

Dear SMDA Members,

We hope you are staying safe and well.

While 2020 was an eventful year for all, a lot has already happened in 2021. A number of activities have been taken forward resulting in some changes in the Scheme. During these changes the Scheme continues to provide a high-quality service to all members, with minimal disruption to manufacturers with devices currently undergoing SMDA testing.

SEC Transition

The Scheme was pleased to announce that the SMDA SEC Modification MP111 was approved by Ofgem on Friday 22nd January 2021. This modification secures the future funding of the fixed costs of the Scheme. The Scheme would like to thank members for their support and assistance during this process and SMDA is now in the transition phases of being integrated into the SEC.

The governance structure of the Scheme will remain largely the same. The SMDA Co. Board members have become the SMDA Sub-Committee reporting to the SEC Panel. The SMDA Management Panel members have also become members of the Management Panel Sub-Group reporting to the SMDA Sub-Committee. Until the SMDA Company winds down, the SMDA Co. Board will continue to meet, in order to fulfil their Director responsibilities.

The Scheme looks forward to members continuous support during the transition, which will result in an improved Scheme, with scope and testing fees due to be reviewed shortly, to benefit all.

Provision of Test House Services

As SMDA Members will be aware, NMi will no longer be providing SMDA testing and assurance services from 1st April 2021. The SMDA Scheme Operator (SO) and NMi are working together to ensure a smooth transition to a new Test House (TH) from April, including all inflight processes. Services until 31st March 2021 continue as normal.

The Scheme is in the process of contracting with an interim TH who will continue testing from 1st April 2021. This is great news and means that there will be no disruption to devices currently going through testing and the Scheme continues to operate as normal.

NMI and the Scheme has agreed an exit management plan to facilitate a smooth transition to the new arrangements. As part of the plan, NMi and the Scheme will also look to ensure that test results and related information are transferred to the new TH, so testing can continue as set out initially with NMi. There is no intention for any testing to be repeated and all relevant information, including the status of test case completion, will be transitioned to the new TH, provided the manufacturer has given NMi permission to do so.

We can also confirm that testing fees agreed between NMi and the device manufacturer will not change. When devices complete the test plan the remaining test fee (i.e. 50% of the TH test fee) set out in the original quote will be due. We will confirm those charging arrangements once the new TH is confirmed.

The Scheme recommends that new devices are submitted to start testing when confirmation of the new TH arrangements are in place. Up to 31st March 2021 we would ask manufacturers to continue to contact NMi for any enquiries around inflight testing of their devices.

To support the transition to a new TH, device manufacturers currently undergoing testing will be contacted by the SO with the current status of SMDA testing of their devices. This is to ensure manufacturers are appraised of the progress and to confirm their position for continuing testing of device(s) once the new TH arrangements are in place. In particular, we’d be grateful if manufacturers could confirm whether they intend to complete SMDA testing and whether they would like this to happen within the next 3, 6 or 9 months.

Steps to Full Assurance

The main goal of the Scheme is to provide Full Assurance to devices that have undergone testing to ensure they are both interchangeable and interoperable with no tolerated issues. The Scheme has made crucial steps towards achieving this goal including:

  • Partial Assurance was awarded to the first GSME device in August 2020
  • Five devices have received Partial Assurance in 2021
  • Full functionality (credit and pre-payment) testing for Central, South and North     Regions
  • Variant Device testing now available – including 5 Terminal, Poly-phase and Twin-phase
  • Release 2 and November 19 Release testing
  • Review of both device specific and common tolerated issues to determine which issues have been, or will soon be, resolved.

The SO has provided members with a view of when currently tolerated issues are expected to be resolved. Following positive feedback from the Management Panel Sub-Group, we are in the process of finalising a resolution plan and a subsequent path to Full Assurance covering all regions, across Credit and Prepayment functionality.

Please contact if you have any questions on the information provided in this update.

Best Wishes

Kunal Sharma, Head of SMDA Scheme