The Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) set up by the European Central Bank as a successor to the Sepa Council has come out in favor of creating a pan-European P2P mobile payment through greater interoperability. According to the body, today there are approximately 50 local systems in Europe and any new offering should cooperate with these solutions rather than act as a competitor.
The ERPB suggests that a pan-European solution can be created by using existing infrastructure such as SEPA and IBANS and a clear procedure around data like mobile phone numbers, email addresses and IBANS to be exchanged across multiple European geographies. The next step in the process will see the European Central Bank develop a proposal for the design of an instant SEPA Credit Transfer system, in which interested P2P service providers could follow on a voluntary basis.
With mobile P2P payment solutions gaining traction across a number of markets like Paym in the UK, Swish in Sweden and Jiffy in Italy the move to create greater interoperability makes a lot of sense and could make cross-border payments far more efficient and cost effective depending on how the system is structured. While it will take time for the system to be built, it is clear that momentum is gathering in this direction.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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