ECB eyes up European P2P payments

ECB eyes up European P2P payments

The European Central Bank is working with a steering committee of major European banks on plans to develop a person-to-person mobile payment network for funds transfers across the Eurozone.

In an interview with RTL Nieuws broadcast, ECB executive board member Yves Mersch said the system would link e-mail adresses and mobile phone numbers to an individual's International Bank Account Number (Iban). The system would supplement national mobile-to-mobile schemes by providing a system for cross-border transfers.

"To send payment over your telephone from one country to another, you go onto your contact list, you take the name of a person, and you would immediately also get his Iban," Mersch said.

The ECB has yet to set a deadline for the implementation of the project, Mersch told the broadcaster, but will have a blueprint ready by the end of the summer.

Comments: (6)

Rammurthy Mudaliar
Rammurthy Mudaliar - Cognizant Technology Solutions - Amsterdam 02 February, 2016, 10:19Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes


Will this be something like the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) being implemented by National Payments Council of India ?


Christopher Williams
Christopher Williams - RTpay - Winchester Uk 02 February, 2016, 14:29Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The possibilities are enormous for this, linking to UPI in India, ach in USA etc., but the element that can kill it (for ten years) can be the banks.... as they managed to delay SEPA for that long. 

There are some other issues regarding AML and security, as well as managing FX conversion in non-euro countries (or maybe the ECB is only interested in the euro area?), but the concept is well worth developing  .. if the banks don't put it on the 'development schedule' for 2035. 

One addition or option is to use post office accounts  .. if they still exist .. so everyone could have an account for this purpose?


Herbert Beyenbach
Herbert Beyenbach - HB Consulting Inc - BOCA RATON 03 February, 2016, 14:41Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Peru launched a countrywide system in December 2015 ... here is more information on it


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 03 February, 2016, 14:46Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

We already have this in Ireland and UK thanks to Colm Lyon and      and they're not a bank ;)

Licensed as a PI under the Payment Services Directive.

"The Directive was transposed by S.I. No. 383 of 2009 European Communities (Payment Services) Regulations 2009"  from

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 03 February, 2016, 17:131 like 1 like

The ability to see someone's IBAN when you look up their details in outlook is a significant security flaw.  If someone's address book gets compromised then all their contacts and their bank details will be compromised too. Don't forget that, for your friends, you may have details of their birth dates, family memebers and pets, as well as thier addresses and work details - all of which are perfect items in demand by identity thieves...

The existing UK P2P mobile schemes could easily be extended to cover international payments.  Using the country code on the mobile number gives a unique ID that can be associated with the IBAN in a secure database manged by the banks or a payment service.  The databases can be part of a global network  allowing country based payments to be routed using the country code and mobile number.  the payments can thenbe transfered using the faster payment channels.  We designed all of this in Logica (now CGI) years ago, when we presented the initial idea to the UK Payments Council.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 04 February, 2016, 10:55Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Mr Mersch is referring to a proposal to link existing schemes (which includes most of the data protection features commented on above) which has been devloped by the Euro Retail Payments Board.  You can read the proposal from the ERPB here: