Splitting a bill with friends at a restaurant, paying back half a household bill to your partner, urgently sending money to your child studying in another European country: these are just some of the examples of the convenient uses of mobile Person-to-Person () payments. The ’s work in this area aims to contribute to the interoperability of European mobile P2P payment solutions in order to make the act of paying ever more convenient and easy for increasingly mobile European citizens.
Mobile P2P payments (transactions between two individuals made using a mobile device) are a topic of growing interest in the financial and telecoms industries. With the advent of instant payments in Europe – notably the EPC’s Instant Credit Transfer scheme – they will become even more popular, as they will allow the easy and immediate transfer of money.
While more than 50 solutions currently co-exist in , there is no pan-European interoperability between them. An overview of these solutions is available in the 2015 Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) report on this subject, to which the contributed. Many solutions are limited to a national, sometimes even an intra-bank level, often making it impossible for one person to pay another using a mobile if the two individuals use solutions that are based in two countries or use two different service providers.
To contribute to the pan-European cooperation of mobile payment solutions, the invited the EPC to facilitate a dialogue.
To this end, the Mobile Proxy Forum (MPF) was created in 2016. This stakeholder initiative brings together representatives of companies operating in the mobile payment area.
The MPF’s objective is to put in place a pan-European standardised proxy lookup (SPL) service and an interoperability framework that allow mobile P2P payment data (a proxy such as a mobile phone number and International Bank Account Number or IBAN) to be exchanged between mobile P2P payment solutions on a pan-European level. Via the SPL service, a mobile phone number will be converted into an IBAN in order to initiate a payment. As a result, it will be possible to move money on a pan-European level between two individuals using only a mobile device.
The SPL service is expected to be available around the end of 2017. Any service providers interested in offering pan-European mobile P2P payments will then have the opportunity to start using this new service.
Until the MPF formalises its existence from a legal point of view, the provides secretarial support and makes available on its website all meeting summaries, detailing the evolution of the forum’s work.