European Central Bank Points to Immediate Payments Future

by Tristan Hugo-Webb 0

In a meeting earlier this month, the Euro Retail PaymentsBoard (ERPB), a multi-stakeholder group chaired by the European Central Bank(ECB) announced that it would advance research on real time payments in euro,and person-to-person mobile payments and contactless payments.

With the success of the UK’s Faster Payments scheme andDenmark’s recently inaugurated RealTime24/7 system, the ERPB is interested inmore countries across Europe developing real time payment systems as consumersincreasingly demand payment and banking services that provide immediateresults.

Speaking on the topic, Yves Mersch, member of the ECB’sExecutive Board and chair of the ERPB said, “Solutions for instant paymentsshould avoid the ‘silo’ mentality of closed systems that don’t communicate witheach other, and take advantage of the harmonization and integration already achievedwith the SEPA project.”

As part of the discussion, members of the ERPB agreed on theneed for at least one pan-European instant payment service for euros that wouldbe open to any payment service provider in the EU to use. While they may agreeon the need, the issue of determining the cost and the infrastructure requiredto build this real time payments network will take an extended period of timedespite the benefits to the industry.

With the issue of creating a real time network in the U.S.front and center, it’s interesting to see that across the Atlantic, Europeansare considering building a real time network that would compete with the terms of size and scope.

Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, International Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group

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