This blog describes next steps agreed by the Euro Retail Payments Board (), chaired by the European Central Bank (ECB), at its third meeting held on 29 June 2015 with regard to the following topics: instant payments in euro, person-to-person (P2P) mobile payments, technical standards related to payment cards; e-invoicing payment issues. At the 29 June 2015 meeting, the ERPB members also took note of the status of past ERPB recommendations and agreed next steps. In this blog, the European Payments Council () outlines the agreements reached at the ERPB meeting and provides an update on the resulting actions which will be taken in the months to come.
Sources cited in this blog and documentation related to the topics mentioned above published by the ECB following the second meeting of the ERPB are included in the ‘related links’ below.
Instant payments in euro
In response to an invitation extended by the ERPB on 1 December 2014, Anthony Richter, chair of the EPC ad hoc working group tasked with preparing the EPC’s recommendations on instant payments, presented the EPC report to the ERPB (see ‘related links’ below). In this presentation, which was clearly introduced as a contribution from one stakeholder among many represented at the ERPB, the EPC outlined its recommendations as well as three conditions which must be met before any further steps can be taken on instant payments:
- The full involvement of all stakeholders, starting with the creation of an ERPB working group, to discuss the issues raised by the EPC report (e.g. the ‘go to market’ scenarios).
- The clear understanding that a ‘ Credit Transfer instant scheme’ (inst) would be only one payment instrument of several possible instruments which support instant payment solutions.
- Clarity from the Eurosystem about the evolution of its settlement infrastructure and processes in terms of whether, how and when it could support an end-to-end instant payment environment.
The ERPB welcomed the report as “an important step towards achieving pan-European instant payments in euro” (see ‘related links’ below) and agreed the following:
- “That irrespective of the payment instrument on which they are based, instant payment solutions offered to end-users in euro should be developed at the pan-European level or, if developed at the national level, should at least be interoperable with those solutions based on the same payment instrument;
- to invite the EPC to present to the ERPB, by November 2015, a proposal for the design of an instant SCTinst in euro, which could be adhered to by EU payment service providers on a voluntary basis;
- to call for the creation of a group that reflects the composition of the ERPB at the level of alternate ERPB members to offer guidance as needed to the EPC regarding the development of the SCTinst in the period from July to November 2015.”
As a result, the EPC will prepare the agreed proposal in conjunction with a multi-stakeholder ‘accompanying’ group which would provide guidance to the EPC and monitor progress. It was agreed, on the EPC’s suggestion, that a meeting to align scope and key directions should take place as soon as possible.
Person-to-person mobile payments
In response to recommendations from a report provided by the ERPB working group on P2P mobile payments, the members of the ERPB subsequently agreed to “endorse the vision of allowing any person to initiate a pan-European P2P mobile payment safely and securely, using a simple method with information the counterparty is prepared to share in order to make a payment.” It continued by agreeing:
“In particular, payment service providers () offering P2P mobile payment services should make use of existing infrastructure as far as possible (i.e. SEPA payments and international bank account numbers (IBANs)). Moreover, a harmonised process should be created to allow P2P mobile payment data (e.g. mobile phone numbers or email addresses and IBANs) to be exchanged between local solutions across borders.”
The ERPB has also expressed its expectation that the existing and future local mobile P2P solutions cooperate to ensure pan-European interoperability, and has invited the EPC to facilitate this.
Technical standards related to payment cards
The ERPB next reviewed a detailed report on the market initiatives to develop technical standards (“implementation specifications”) delivered by the Card Stakeholders Group (CSG), a multi-stakeholder group of which the EPC is a member.
The ERPB agreed with the CSG report findings, responding “that in the terminal-to-acquirer and card-to-terminal domains, the choice of implementation specifications should be market driven and conform to the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume (SCS Volume). In the terminal security domain, terminal security certification methodologies, processes and certification frameworks should implement the relevant list of requirements described in the SCS Volume.” It then invited the CSG to:
- “implement the relevant procedures and start to monitor the conformance of implementation specifications for payment card products and services to the SCS Volume in the second half of 2015;
- perform a study at the European level to evaluate any interest and benefit of the migration to a single message standard and standardised clearing/settlement practices in the issuer-to-acquirer domain;
- report back to the ERPB every 12 months with an update on the stock-taking exercise concerning the progress of the implementation of harmonised standards related to payment cards in Europe.”
E-invoicing payment issues
Finally, on the basis of a note prepared by the ERPB Secretariat, the ERPB endorsed the objective of a harmonised electronic invoice/bill presentment & payment (EIPP/EBPP) service for payers and payees, and an electronic invoicing/billing network for payees to reach all consumers and businesses in Europe. The members of the ERPB took note of the preliminary assessment of existing barriers to the implementation of pan-European EIPP/EBPP solutions and agreed to continue work on this dossier with the aim to conclude on next steps in the meeting of the ERPB in November 2015.
The EPC shares the overall vision which was articulated in the note prepared by the ERPB Secretariat. The EPC also subscribes to the view that the topic should form part of a broader, end-to-end perspective and be linked to the recently announced EC ‘Digital Single Market’ initiative as well as to previous work carried out at EC level.
Activity following the meeting
The EPC stands ready to continue its active contribution to the objectives and work of the ERPB as well as to the implementation of the agreed upon ERPB recommendations, with the full involvement of all other stakeholders. Updates regarding meetings and with regard to delivery of updated feedback and recommendations can be expected in due course.
- European Central Bank Website: ERPB Statement 29 June 2015
- European Central Bank Website: ERPB Statement 1 December 2014
- European Central Bank Website: Information about Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB)
- EPC News: EPC Publishes Report on Instant Payments After Submission to the June 2015 Meeting of the Euro Retail Payments Board
- EPC Newsletter (January 2015): The Future of Payments: European Commission Invited Exchange of Views at its Conference on Emerging Challenges in Retail Finance and Consumer Policy
- EPC Newsletter (January 2015): Next Steps Agreed by the ERPB with Regard to SCT and SDD Post-migration Issues, pan-European Electronic Mandate Solutions and Instant Payments
- EPC Newsletter (January 2015): New ERPB Working Groups on Mobile Payments and Publication of the Second Edition of the EPC's ‘Overview of Mobile Payments Initiatives´
- EPC Newsletter (April 2015): EPC and Cards Stakeholders Group Released Version 7.05 of the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume for Public Consultation
- EPC Newsletter (April 2015): Instant Payments – a Winning Bet?
- EPC Newsletter (July 2014): EPC Publishes Overview of Mobile Payments Initiatives in SEPA and Beyond
- EPC Blog (December 2014): Update on work items addressed by the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) chaired by the European Central Bank: SEPA Credit Transfer, SEPA Direct Debit, instant and mobile payment
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