The European Payments Initiative, a bank-backed joint venture that aims to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa, has put out a Request for Information for 'qualified technical partners' to help build its central infrastructure.
Backed by 31 major Eurozone banks and acquirers Wordlline and Nets, the 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.
EPI is currently assessing how the necessary central infrastructure could be obtained, or built, and how best it should be operated, "to sustain all the necessary scheme functions and needs, as well as the solution needs of the technical entity, in relation to the payment products EPI intends to deploy".
States the EPI: "In particular, determining the financial aspects of the different options for the setup, and the run of the central infrastructure is critical for allowing proper decisions and choices."
The entity is calling on potential partners to submit proposals under the RfI by 1 March.
This will be used to establish a longlist of poptential participants, who will be invited to submit a formal Request for Proposals later in 2021.