The SEPA Request-to-Pay (SRTP) scheme: the first participant shares th...

The SEPA Request-to-Pay (SRTP) scheme: the first participant shares their experiences and views

29 April 22

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The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to the European Payments Council.

Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Request-to-Pay (SRTP) is one of the most recent European Payments Council (EPC) schemes. Sami Karhunen, CEO of the first scheme participant, Pine & Cone Oy, discusses their experiences.

What were the key drivers for adhering to the SRTP scheme? 

The two main reasons for joining the SRTP scheme are firstly, current need for SRTP services, and secondly, future market size of SRTP services. We have received very positive feedback from potential customers and have already signed several Letter of Intent (LOI) agreements with multiple payment service providers (PSPs) and large companies. PSPs are looking for Europe-wide account-to-account payment methods to replace local account-to-account payment methods and complement Payment Initiation Services (PIS)-payments.

We estimate that in the future, cross-border business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) e-invoicing services have the biggest growth potential.

Can you describe the main challenges you experienced when participating in the SRTP scheme?

I would turn the question this way: as the first participant to join the SRTP scheme we learned the most and we got the chance to be the forerunners. The homologation process was as exhaustive and professional as it should be. We were treated fairly and with mutual respect. I am sure that the process will be even more structured and transparent for the applicants who follow.

Based on this experience, what advice would you give European PSPs and non-PSPs who are interested in joining the SRTP scheme?

Do your homework and go for it. It is doable, and you will be rewarded. Our business model is co-operation-driven, and we have services to help all non-banks and banks join the SRTP scheme. We offer modern and robust SRTP integration with simplified REST application programming interfaces (API) and an end-to-end SRTP-testing service to make joining easier and faster.

Can you share your vision for the Request-to-Pay landscape in Europe over the next five years?

All banks in the SEPA-area and hundreds of non-banks will have joined the scheme and launched SRTP-services. SRTP will have replaced several local and domestic account-to-account payment services and e-invoicing services.

SRTP will become the most popular everyday account-to-account payment method on e-commerce and in-app, and the most popular B2C and B2B e-invoicing method for both domestic and cross-border payments.

The standard will have been updated several times to include great new features such as support for variable recurring payments, buy-now-pay-later options, web-link-included to payment request, currency conversions for all European currencies and integrations to the UK R2P scheme and to Nordic countries' P27-platform. There will also be a number of in-store payments concepts that combine the SRTP with loyalty programs and will provide the best overall experience of buying.

In your opinion, for which payment situations would the SRTP scheme be mostly used in the near future and in the medium term?

For a start, the SRTP use cases will vary from market to market. For example, in Finland e-commerce and in-app payment will be the first-use cases, while in southern Europe utility payments could come first. In the medium term, when there are enough banks and PSPs taking part in the scheme the most common payment and invoicing use cases will be harmonised throughout Europe. B2B cross-border e-invoicing use cases will boom a bit later when banks have their SRTP premium APIs available for corporate customers.

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