On 2 June 2020, the launched a three-month public consultation on the rulebook for the new Request-to-Pay (SRTP) scheme, which will provide a new way to request a payment initiation. We interviewed the ad-hoc RTP Task Force (RTP TF) chair Jean-Yves Jacquelin to shed some light on the future developments of the SRTP scheme.
First, could you briefly describe the future Request-to-Pay (SRTP) scheme and the key steps towards its creation?
In November 2019, the Request-to-Pay Multi-Stakeholder Group ( ), created and coordinated by the in response to an invitation from the Euro Retail Payments Board ( ), published the “RTP Specifications for a standardisation framework” document to support further work on an RTP scheme. For their next step, the decided to establish an ad-hoc task force (RTP TF) to develop a RTP scheme rulebook for publication on the website by November 2020. Moreover, the mandate was extended to fulfil a consultative role towards the RTP TF (“phase 2”), thereby ensuring broad stakeholder involvement in the scheme development process.
The SRTP scheme, which is based on the aforementioned guidance document, covers a set of operating rules and technical elements (including messages) that allow a payee (creditor) to request the initiation of a payment (a credit transfer) from a payer (debtor) in a wide range of physical or online use cases. The SRTP scheme is a messaging scheme and not a payment scheme like .
What are the main use cases and benefits of the SRTP scheme?
The RTP opens up opportunities for new implementing solutions covering a broad range of basic use cases, such as retail commerce transactions at physical or online Point of Interaction (POI), proximity Person-to-Person ( ) transactions and Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) e-invoicing.
The RTP helps streamline the end-to-end payment experience for all parties involved and facilitates reconciliation. Moreover, the scheme aims to facilitate the request of payment in a digital manner (including inter-operability and reachability across ) and allowing payees to express their payment preferences (e.g. pay now/pay later) in accordance with their needs.
The scheme can be considered as a complement to the payments flow because it supports the end-to-end process and lies between an underlying commercial transaction and the payment itself. RTP can be seen as an enabler for digital payments (notably those based on ).
Future development of enhanced features and guidelines for harmonisation of the RTP are envisaged after delivering the first version of the SRTP scheme rulebook.
Could you describe the main actors involved in the scheme?
There are four types of actors in the scheme:
• The payee, who is the initiator of an RTP process and the beneficiary of the funds transferred in the resulting payment flow.
• The payer, representing the party to whom the RTP is addressed and the originator of the funds transferred in the resulting payment flow.
• The payee’s RTP service provider, usually represented by a payment service provider ( ) but, because the RTP can be part of end-to-end commerce processes, other eligible non- entities can also assume this role. Therefore, the payee’s RTP service providers can be, for instance: , e-invoicing service providers and commerce service providers.
• The payer’s RTP service provider, usually represented by a but also other eligible non- entities, can assume this role. Therefore, the payer’s RTP service providers can be, for instance, and e-invoicing service providers.
How will the scheme’s management cycle be organised? Are you already planning a second release of the rulebook?
It is a key objective of the that the scheme is able to evolve with a developing payments market. To meet the demands of the participants and stakeholders including end-users, and non- communities, the SRTP rulebook will be subject to a change management process that is structured, transparent and open, governed by the rules of the management and evolution function of scheme management. The first draft rulebook, including basic functionalities, was submitted in early June 2020 for a three-month public consultation, and publication is foreseen by the end of November 2020 (subject to Board approval). The preparation of the second release of the SRTP rulebook is foreseen to start already in December 2020.
How do you see the future evolution of the RTP scheme?
As part of the second release planned to be published in November 2021 and in line with the recommendations made in the aforementioned RTP specifications document, the will assess the inclusion of more elaborated RTP functionalities such as guarantee of payment and payment in multiple instalments.
Moreover, it is envisaged that the feedback from the stakeholders on the current public consultation may provide useful market insights into how the RTP scheme should further evolve in the future.
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