Joint statement by Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland on the European Payments Initiative (EPI)

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BRUSSELS, November 9, 2021

Joint statement

by Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland

on the European Payment Initiative (EPI)

  1. We are fully aware of our citizens’ expectations for secure, efficient, accessible and affordable payment services. Following the general trend in our economies, payment solutions are becoming more and more digital and new services based on instant payment have been successfully deployed in many countries. Citizens expect faster, safer and more efficient payment solutions, as well as a greater choice of providers and solutions.
  2. We share the goal of an efficient European internal market for payments, and we have long been committed to ensuring that it functions well, payment solutions that work well. Much has been accomplished since the introduction of the euro, notably with the creation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in 2012 and the harmonization of EU legislation on retail payments.
  3. However, payment services in the EU remain fragmented. National payment solutions based on cards or wire transfers currently remain, to a large extent, fragmented along national borders, and there is a lack of interoperability between existing national solutions, schemes and infrastructure. At the same time, the EU market remains largely dependent on solutions offered by non-European players, both at points of sale and online. In addition, unnecessary burdens for the internal payments market persist. As payments and payment data have become strategically and economically important, there is a greater need to take action than ever.
  4. We are convinced that the time has come to build a true “Europe of payments”. An integrated and open market for electronic payment solutions, without distinction between national and cross-border payments and without unnecessary barriers, is necessary to advance the internal market. This would increase competition and

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innovation, with potential gains for the consumer. In addition, it is about strategic autonomy in a vital market. A common payment solution developed in Europe would reduce the risks and vulnerabilities of retail payment systems and help maintain control over sensitive payment data, thereby better protecting our citizens. To this extent, we encourage all initiatives aimed at further harmonizing the EU payment services market and offering new innovative payment solutions. We remain committed to tackling all unjustified obstacles to the proper functioning of the internal market, such as IBAN discrimination.

  1. In this context, we reiterate our support for the European Payments Initiative (EPI), as it would help to achieve these objectives. Led by private actors based in seven EU markets to date, the EPI aims to provide a Pan-Europeanpayment solution, combining card-basedand digital instant payment solutions. This private initiative would help to offer secure, innovative and modern payment solutions, within the framework of a common scheme and harmonized standards. EPI’s single payment solution would benefit European consumers, merchants, banks, payment service providers and the European economy as a whole more generally. Phone Grown in Europepayment solutions would be an important contribution to our overall political goal of greater open strategic autonomy for the EU.
  2. We therefore look forward to a successful formal launch of the project. We encourage EPI to engage in an agile deployment of this new solution and make it a success, while recognizing its private and competitive business model and remaining vigilant to maintain fair and free competition, and equal treatment between players in the payments industry. We remain committed to exploring a mutually reinforcing cooperation between EPI and other potential ongoing payment workflows, such as electronic identification or central bank digital currencies.
  3. The EPI will bring the most benefits if it has a Scope at Union level. We therefore encourage EPI to continue its work on involving more Member States and their banking and payments communities to join the initiative. Having a unified, integrated and competitive payment solution will be very beneficial, both for the EU as a whole but also for all of its citizens and businesses.

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Disclaimer

Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Recovery of the French Republic published this content on November 09, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on 09 November 2021 10:42:03 AM UTC.

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