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EPC Newsletter
June 2016 - Issue 30

The Chair's foreword

"Payments are a consequence of human sloth". This is how I often start my courses on payments to catch the attention of my students and provoke their interest (not always easy). It is an old Sherlock Holmes' trick: after constructing a series of simple inferences, each dependant on its predecessor, one may produce a startling effect if one presents to the audience only the starting point and the conclusion.

‘Sloth’ as one of the seven deadly sins can be explained as when prehistoric tribes decided to settle and abandon their wandering. They did so because they were tired of roaming but it took generations for them to regain the standard of life that they had enjoyed as nomads.

Once established in a fixed location, it was only a matter of time before people began specialising (also moved by sloth as they did what demanded the least effort for the largest output) and generating surplus they could exchange. Bartering, commerce, money and payments enter onto the stage quite easily in this simplified tale.

I would like to focus on a lesson that can be drawn from this short history. We must recognise that payments are deeply engrained in human behaviour as part of the complex interactions between people. When left to their natural evolution payment preferences emerge and, depending on prevailing circumstances, they eventually balance out. That is what we see around the world and, more specifically, in Europe: different conditions translate into different preferences, uses and practices, all in balance with the environment and responding optimally to local constraints.

Trying to harmonise human behaviours, as the SEPA project strives to do, is not an easy exercise. The most difficult part of the endeavour is to identify how the future should, and could look. Anticipating and defining goals and evolution paths in payments is as difficult as any other social engineering exercise.

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Innovation

Mobile biometrics has finally come of ageThe mobility revolution in banking and payments is driving mass market adoption of biometrics technology

09.06.16 By Sirpa Nordlund, Executive Director, Mobey Forum

Biometrics has been ‘the next big thing’ for over two decades but thanks to the growth in mobile banking and payments the technology is finally reaching commercial maturity.

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EPC News

Shape the future of instant payments in Europe!

09.06.16

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Policy, regulatory, and legal issues

What will real-time gross settlement services be like in the future?The Eurosystem seeks to enhance its RTGS services

09.06.16 By Sylvain Debeaumont and Antonia Hamova, European Central Bank

With efficiency and innovation at the heart of its vision for the future, the Eurosystem is analysing the opportunities to enhance and consolidate its market infrastructure services.

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Innovation

What does the future hold for US domestic payments?An overview of innovative payment initiatives in the US and their benefits

09.06.16 By Edmund Esch, Managing Director and Head of USD Clearing Product Management for BNY Mellon Treasury Services

How do US banks cope with the fast-changing technological payment environment and increased pressure from fintechs? This article outlines the several American solutions launched in order to meet the needs of payments in a new competitive, immediate and technological environment.

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On the cards

Give your opinion on the new draft version of the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume, now open to public consultation

09.06.16

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Around the web

The latest payment reports that you need to read

09.06.16

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Policy, regulatory, and legal issues

Is the market ready for the Card Interchange Fee Regulation?

09.06.16

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Country profile

FinlandĀ“s payment landscape in a snapshot: A pioneer in the digitalisation of payments

09.06.16

Our new infographic shows that every year, Finnish people make twice as many digital transactions than the average EU citizen, mainly with card and credit transfers. In our interview with Päivi Pelkonen, from the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, we explore how this contributes to Finland falling within the top most innovative countries globally in terms of payments.

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EPC News

Only a few weeks left to have your say on the evolution of SEPA credit transfers and direct debits

09.06.16

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Mobile and online payments

Overcoming the barriers to creating pan-European interoperability of P2P mobile payment solutionsUpdate on the P2P mobile payments Steering Committee

09.06.16

Following a stakeholders workshop which was set up to focus on pan-European interoperability of P2P mobile payment solutions, the EPC continues to act as a facilitator and is involved in making P2P mobile payments a European reality. Read about the latest news from the Steering Committee of the forum leading this initiative here.

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Final @EBA_News draft technical standards https://t.co/hsRqizTmDm on separation of #payment card schemes & processing entities under IFR
28/07/2016