Recognised as the European payments event in Brussels, EPIF’s Third Annual Workshop brought together over 100 policy-makers and industry participants to share their experience on the drivers of the next technology revolution in payments.
European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis announced that the results of the review of the Interchange Fee Regulation will be presented in 2020. In preparing for the future of electronic payments, “the Commission is taking steps to provide cheaper and secure payments through the proposal on cross-border payments and currency conversion”. Eva Maydell MEP, the Rapporteur on this proposal, noted that regulation is sometimes needed in order to stimulate innovation. She believes the EU can lead the way in creating the future of payments at the global level.
With the imminent implementation of the ECB’s TARGET instant payments settlement service (TIPS), Mehdi Manaa, Deputy Director General on Market Infrastructures and Payments at the ECB, outlined the benefits of TIPS and emphasised that the ECB is embracing innovation. Senior executives of EPIF members (Amazon Europe, American Express, Elavon, Paysafe, Worldpay) shared their insights as to how they expect the payments landscape to change in the next five years. They reflected on how the consumer is driving this change by encouraging the payments industry to respond to how people want to make payments. This in turn is stimulating innovation in the EU. Giulio Montemagno, CEO, Amazon Pay in Europe, said that payments is a key driver in the overall boost in consumption behaviour experienced by the payments industry. Speaking on the future payments landscape, Udo Müller, CEO, Paysafecard, emphasised the importance of striking the right balance between regulator’s and customer’s needs. Elie Beyrouthy, Chair of EPIF, agreed that regulators should develop rules that are flexible enough to keep pace with innovation.
Representatives from the European Commission, EBA, ECB, BEUC, B-Hive, Central Bank of Ireland and EPIF members, including PayPal and Bitsafe, discussed the role for instant payments and what is the right balance between fostering innovation and competition while at the same time retaining a high level of consumer protection with regards to PSD2. On instant payments, Ralf Jacob, Head of Unit Retail Financial Services and Payments, European Commission, said that authorised push payment fraud must be considered.
Chloe MacEwen, Vice-Chair of EPIF, in summing up the day’s discussion reflected the consensus that new technologies create new opportunities, facilitate compliance and reduce cost. Nevertheless, they also raise concerns about data privacy and access to data by third parties. “Ultimately it will be the consumer who drives the next technology regulation and the industry and regulators will have to keep responding to consumer needs in an innovative and transparent manner.”