17 June 2019
EBAday is the right stage to evaluate the European collaboration
Can we welcome global payment solutions from the eurozone in the near future, with which European payment service providers can successfully compete with the payment services of tech giants and other international players from different continents? In my opinion, EBAday is the ideal event to raise this question once again, not in the least because of the diversity of service providers in Stockholm.
If you would ask Yves Merch, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), the answer to the question is: ‘hopefully yes’. According to him, consumers expect pan-European services that are safe, efficient and easy to use. Pan-European services are currently dominated by non-European players, with international card schemes taking the lead. The move towards instant payments and open banking is a unique opportunity for European payment service providers to become leaders in innovation again, based on European standards.
Control of our own payments
I support the ECB's view that European payment solutions with global reach are crucial for our continent. On the one hand, this could bring growth to the European financial sector and, on the other hand, it would allow Europe to remain in control of European payments. After all, it is quite risky to be dependent on other continents when it comes to payments.
However, in practice the creation of pan-European payment solutions is more difficult to accomplish than initially thought. This makes sense somewhere, because European payment service providers have a traditional focus on national markets, where they gain the majority of their revenues and profits.
Cross-border interoperable payment solutions
I am curious to see whether the theme ‘European collaboration’ will be discussed regularly by members of the sessions at EBAday. How are we doing in Europe and how can we promote collaboration between financial stakeholders from multiple countries in order to achieve cross-border interoperable payment solutions?
EBAday is an event that focusses on the question how we can speed up the reinvention of the payment sector and become financial leaders again, so it is the right stage to evaluate the European collaboration. The building blocks for a restructuring of the payments world are in place, with the arrival of a clear legal basis (PSD2), state-of-the-art market infrastructures (e.g. TIPS), and standardized and harmonized business rules (e.g. SCT inst).
Take matters back into European hands
I believe that this era seems to be the perfect time for the continent to take back control of its own payment flows. I am curious to know whether the attendees of EBAday feel the same way. I will find out during the event, because for two days I will be visiting sessions about the future of payments and the challenges that both new and old players in the payment world are facing.
Via certain blogs I will keep you updated about my findings, which will hopefully provide new insights about European collaboration, PSD2, instant payments and the consequences of a cashless society. After all, as I said, that's the time to take matters back into European hands.