The newly-convened Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) is to set up two working groups to explore the role of mobile and 'innovative' payments methods, as Europe begins the transition to a Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa).
The ERPB was set up by the European Central Bank in December last year, with a brief to oversee the integration of the bloc's retail payments market in a post-Sepa environment. The Board is composed of seven representatives from the demand side - such as consumers, retailers and corporations - and seven from the supply side - banks and payment and e-money institutions, in a bid to gain a broad consensus on future payment reforms..
At its first meeting this week, the ERPB agreed to immediately set up two working groups to address post-migration issues for the new Sepa credit and direct debit instruments, and the development of pan-European electronic mandate initiatives for Sepa direct debits. Draft mandates are also being prepared for future working groups on "mobile payments and innovative payments". The Board additionally agreed to carry out a stock-taking exercise on the implementation of payment cards standardisation and devise a plan on dealing with the practical implementation issues at its next meeting.
The Board noted that migration to the Sepa schemes was very close to completion in the credit transfer domain, but that there was still work to be done to ensure full and secure migration of direct debits "in a few countries" by the extended 1 August 2014 deadline.
The inaugural meeting was closed with a call for all stakeholders to complete their preparations and their migration to Sepa payment instruments "as early as possible and before the deadline".