In January 2016, the EPC is Hosting a Workshop on Person-to-Person Mob...

In January 2016, the EPC is Hosting a Workshop on Person-to-Person Mobile Payments: a Great Opportunity for Stakeholders to Contribute to Pan-European Interoperability

15 October 15

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Update of 12-11-2015: the Person-to-Person mobile payments workshop was initially planned on 10 December 2015. Due to conflicting agendas, the decided to reschedule the workshop to 21 January 2016. This Blog has been updated with the new date.

The European Payments Council () is hosting, on 21 January 2016, a stakeholders workshop focused on Person-to-Person () mobile payments. In this blog post, Javier Santamaría, Chair of the , recalls the definition of this growing payment type, outlines the purpose of the workshop, and reminds stakeholders wishing to participate of how to register.

mobile payments: a hot topic in the payments industry, expected to grow in the near future

Throughout the Single Euro Payments Area (), many countries have already introduced one or several mobile payment solutions. Most of them have been launched in the last two or three years. The Euro Retail Payments Board (), chaired by the European Central Bank, identified it as a topic of interest and set up a working group on mobile payments in February 2015. A few months later, the working group submitted, to the , its report and recommendations on developing a pan-European mobile payment solution.

To make sure we all have the same understanding of the topic, let us recall the definition used by the working group in its report. mobile payments are transactions:

  • Occurring between two individuals (as opposed to ‘person-to-merchant’ payments);
  • Initiated, confirmed and/or received via a mobile device, and for which payment instruction and other payment data are transmitted and/or confirmed with a mobile device as well;
  • For which the payee’s account is identified by a proxy. This proxy is a distinctive mobile payments identifier such as a mobile phone number or email address.

The working group on mobile payments conducted a survey, and found that 50 solutions co-existed in the 22 countries for which input was received.

Still, according to this survey, the number of mobile transactions is low compared to traditional payments (‘over the counter’ or via online banking), with an average value of less than 100 euros.

However, smartphone penetration rates have already exceeded 50 percent in many SEPA countries.  If we consider the boost of new technology, the customer expectations led by smartphone growth, and in addition, the increase of instant payments (from which mobile payments could benefit), we can foresee a development of mobile payments. On top of responding to users’ needs, mobile payments could also contribute to economic growth.

The existing mobile payment solutions operate at a domestic, local, and sometimes intra-bank level. To enable the development of mobile payments across , the domestic solutions need to be fully interoperable.


Towards an interoperable and pan-European mobile payments landscape

At its June 2015 meeting, the agreed to endorse the vision of allowing any person to initiate a pan-European mobile payment safely and securely, using a simple method with information the counterparty is prepared to share in order to make a payment. The invited the to facilitate the cooperation of existing and future mobile payment solutions in order to ensure their interoperability on a pan-European level.

Following this request, on 21 January 2016, the is hosting a stakeholders workshop. It will cover the following topics:

  • The development of a set of rules and standards enabling pan-European mobile payment services.
  • The governance structure responsible for the management of this set of rules.
  • The creation of a harmonised method allowing mobile payment data to be exchanged among solutions (i.e., a ‘Standardised Proxy Lookup service’), so that any user can potentially reach any other user in Europe.
  • Current and forthcoming data protection regulation which could affect interoperable mobile payment solutions.


Only a few days left to register for the workshop hosted by the on 21 January 2016!

All payment stakeholders, on the supply (including, amongst others, payment services providers and technical players) as well as on the demand side (consumers organisations for instance), are invited to participate in this free of charge workshop, which will take place in Brussels. Interested parties can register their interest by sending an email to  by 7 December 2015, including a brief description of their relevant interest. The will get back to all interested parties that have claimed a relevant interest with the venue details and agenda of the workshop.

For more information on the workshop and criteria to participate, read the full call for participation.


Through this workshop, the acts as a facilitator by gathering stakeholders interested in the development of mobile payments. We hope this event will contribute to building consensus on the bedrock for an interoperable mobile payments landscape across .


Related links

The ERPB Working Group’s Report and Recommendations on P2P Mobile Payments

The ERPB Statement Following its June 2015 Meeting

The EPC Call for Participants to the Stakeholders Workshop on P2P Mobile Payments

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