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Nets and Worldline take stakes in bank-backed rival to Visa and Mastercard

Nets and Worldline take stakes in bank-backed rival to Visa and Mastercard

Worldline and Nets have become shareholders in the European Payments Initiative, a bank-backed joint venture that aims to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa.

Backed by 16 major Eurozone banks, the European Payments Initiative (EPI) is striving to create a unified pan-European payment system, offering a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments.

Expected to enter the operational phase in 2022, the coalition established the EPI Interim Company in Brussels in July, with the intention of setting out clear deliverables including the completion of the technical and operational roadmap.

Worldline and Nets are the first non-banks to sign up to the scheme as shareholders, and discussion are underway with other third-party acquirers and strategic stakeholders in the payments ecosystem.

Bo Nilsson, group CEO of Nets, comments: “The European Payments Initiative will benefit the entire payments ecosystem in Europe. All stakeholders including issuers, acquirers, merchants and ultimately the end-consumers will gain from a strong and truly European digital payment solution."

The EPI Interim Company hass also announced the appointment of Dr. Joachim Schmalzl from the German Savings Bank Association as chairman and Oliver Wyman partner Martina Weimert as CEO.

Finextra’s The Future of Payments report explores how new business models, new operating models and new forms of collaboration are the catalyst for the 2020 payments ecosystem. Click here to download.

Comments: (8)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 25 November, 2020, 12:311 like 1 like

...."Oliver Wyman partner Martina Weimert as CEO"

Seems strange to appoint a representative of a consutancy organisation to such a critical role. I wonder why?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 25 November, 2020, 13:31Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The previous candidate as CEO was french Nicolas HUSS, but he withdraw quickly his candidacy. And then, it appears very simple for the interim company to appoint Martina Weimart who had conduct all the previous discussions between banks since Monnet and know very well the subject.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 25 November, 2020, 13:45Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Let us hope that the team responsible for the delivery of this project fully engage with the merchant community who will be key to its sucess (or failure). Nicolas Huss had a good understanding of merchant needs..... 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 26 November, 2020, 09:46Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I wonder if EPI will handle only a payment system and cards/wallet, or if they will also take a shot at the overlay services such as RtP?

Andrei Charniauski
Andrei Charniauski - Finastra - London 26 November, 2020, 14:251 like 1 like

Another pan-european card scheme... all the previous ones have failed without even starting.

Guys, you don't need to try with a card anymore - all you need is an account-based pan-european scheme which settles over SEPA Inst. Launch it at all ecommerce gateways and force banks and customers into using it with lower costs of transaction. Mobile phone is your programmable interface for wallet, p2p and even physical POS payments.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 26 November, 2020, 17:28Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@Andrai, I agree with you but my understanding is that the EPI participating banks want a product that reaches beyond just the EU but also internationally - hence the co-badging intention with V/MC 

Vernon Crabtree
Vernon Crabtree - My comments are my own - Utrecht 27 November, 2020, 07:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@Andrai, I have thought about this in the past. With an account based scheme, you need to address various trust issues from the ground up. How does the consumer know they are paying the merchant and not someone else? How do you identify that the consumer is allowed access to the account making the payment?

A "card" scheme addresses these and the rails are in place - a new wheel might not be justified

Andrei Charniauski
Andrei Charniauski - Finastra - London 27 November, 2020, 09:48Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@Vernon, you're absolutely right - that's why I said "create a scheme" with all the rules, fees, protocols, chargebacks, merchant management, etc. There still needs to be a scheme - just no need to invent another card-based scheme which is not going to break through.

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