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A look back at EBAday 2015

EBAday celebrated its 10th anniversary in Amsterdam with a 19-session program, a sold-out exhibition floor and 871 delegates. After allowing for some days to let the dust settle, it is now a good moment to share some key insights and perceived challenges ahead of us:

Change: the only constant

With the SEPA migration quasi completed, our industry comes to realise that business and retail customers have moved on to the next level of expectations in terms of speed, user friendliness and functionalities. A lot of innovative solutions exists, but much is fragmented requiring many of our customers to onboard many new systems and suppliers.

Thus our bar is constantly being set higher and is also driven by other forces such as the PSD2, Basel III, Internet security needs, and new technologies such as APIs, crypto and big data. 

Vision: real-time commerce

In anticipation, many EBA members have been working together on defining a vision for the future, published in a series of papers on a range of topics, including: user requirements [link], digital identity [link], real-time payments [link], Digital Customer Services Interface (DCSI) [link] and cryptotechnologies [link]. The last two papers were published at the occassion of EBAday 2015, including a 90-seconds video on the need for a Digital Customer Servces Interface (DCSI) layer [link].

Action: towards real-time commerce

In essence there are two main directions appearing: one of ‘faster funds movement’ and one of ‘reach on the customer level’, although all of this is often captured under the term ‘real-time payments’. Probably ‘real-time commerce’ is a better term. 

Still now, often practitioners talk to each other without expressing these seemingly unimportant differences. Talking with a merchant about ‘real-time payments’ is something different than ‘real-time P2P’ in the form of ‘cashless cash’, as often used by regulators.

Most of the customer requirements may be fulfilled through pan-European real-time APIs and in some important use cases having SEPA funds in seconds is a strong requirement. We need to explain this better to our stakeholders, because it offers the opportunity to better focus scarce resources on the most pressing customer needs, thereby achieving better services for our end customers in shorter timelines. Also, generic APIs could off-load the integration burden for banks when implementing real-time funds transfer.

Cooperation with the blossoming Fintech community can also be an opportunity, while at the same time fulfilling the requirements posed by PSD2 and Access to the Account. The market for digital services as a whole may come into higher gear, once Fintech and financial institutions team up in making better services for payers and payees.

Cryptotechnologies have come into the spotlight with a focus on the relevance for payment and transaction banking professionals for the coming 12-36 months. This is an area for further investigation, of which I know several leading institutions are already looking at opportunities for intrabank use. 

Next EBAday: ongoing tangible results

All actions for the coming year are about engaging the EBA community and the stakeholders surrounding it. Strong customer, technological and regulatory momentum exists. Tangible results in the area of real-time payments, APIs and cryptotechnologies should be possible for the coming 12 months, just in time for the next EBAday in Milan on 7-8 June 2016.


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Daniel Szmukler

Daniel Szmukler



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08 Mar 2007



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EBAday is the annual event for European payments professionals organised by Finextra and the Euro Banking Association. This community has been created to deliver a forum for EBA delegates to exchange views on instant payments, open banking and new developments in payments processing and technology.

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