The European SEPA migration process has been slow to date, and there might be more delays ahead. The European Payments Council (EPC), the industry association of the European payments industry in charge of coordinating the SEPA process, is now under the EC’s investigation.
Following a complaint, (the EC) will now look in to whether the standardisation process for e-payments is locking out new entrants.
Its investigation is to make sure “competition is not unduly restricted, for example through the exclusion of new entrants and payment providers who are not controlled by a bank”. Such restrictions would lead to higher prices for Web merchants and ultimately consumers, says the EC.
The EPC has denied the EC’s accusation, stating that:
The EPC is continuously providing full and transparent information available to all stakeholders, including the European Commission, on the EPC’s activities in the area of online payments. To-date, related work remains in progress and no final documentation has been published. The EPC therefore does not support the allegations by DG Competition that the EPC’s work in this area could potentially discriminate against new market entrants or other service providers.
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