The European Commission is hosting a roundtable in Brussels as part of an ongoing intiative to push the development and availability of cross-border instant payments for European consumers and businesses.
While instant payment systems spring to life in domestic European markets, the goal of an interoperable cross-border network for consumers and businesses in the EU remains a distant goal.
The event in Brussels is being organised together with the European Central Bank in an effort to identify ways to overcome existing obstacles to harmonisation and to ensure cross-border reach of instant payments.
The issue was a big topic for discussion at the annual EBAday conference of payments and transaction bankers in Stockholm last week, where the Scandinavian P27 model was under heavy scrutiny.
However, many bankers in attendance had more pressing issues to deal with in their own national markets, with concerns around liquidity management, credit risk and maintaining security of funds in frictionless payments bubbling to the surface.
The ultimate objective of the Commission is to have pan-European instant payment solutions, such as paying for goods with a mobile device or allowing money to move from any account to any account, anywhere in Europe in real time and 24/7.
Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU Commissioner in charge of financial services says: “Europe now has a unique opportunity to design a truly European payment solution. I fully support the instant payment initiatives already launched in many Member States. We now need to make sure that we quickly develop a truly European market for payment so that it brings maximum benefits to European consumers, retailers and service providers, and empowers European companies to compete on global markets.”