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Payments and AML


The ambition of the EU Commission has long been to build an efficient and integrated market for payment services in the EU. Citizens and businesses should be able to make in the EU cross-border payments as easily, safely and with similar cost as they would in their own countries.
Though, this reflection was complexified by the highly innovative context specific to the digitalisation of commerce, enabled by Internet, mobile-phones, and distributed ledger technology adoption.

In addition, payments involve now in addition to incumbent banks, payment service providers, powerful global players (international card schemes and the so-called BigTechs) as well as the many digital currency providers.

This is happening in the context where beyond the EU, financial infrastructures which constitute critical links of the global financial web at the global level – High Value Payments, Low Value Payments, central securities depositories, securities settlement systems, central counterparties, and trade repositories…, also raise important financial stability issues and must improve their reliability and effectiveness.

More recently, the need to ensure a sufficient EU autonomy in order to preserve the continuity of transactions also reached to front of the stage, added to the ambitious modernisation projects and the complexity of the EU payments strategy.

Advancing in this area has led to working out rules and consumer protection arrangements that are the same all over the EU, and creating or extending payment schemes beyond domestic borders, which supposes defining common economic and financial rules among a much numerous and varied community of financial potential partners. Such a highly competitive payments market also required making that all market participants can compete on fair and equal terms.

Reflecting on the appropriate infrastructures proved necessary, while many legislative and infrastructure and scheme initiatives have been witnessed in the EU and globally among which PSD2 and its revision, MIFD, … the adoption of ISO 20022, the use of SWIFT Global Payment Initiative, TIPs and EPI and the forthcoming regulation on the digital euro, and the initiative to involve strong customer authentication in payments… Central Banks for their part accelerated the so called CBDC projects in order to (i) maintaining accessibility and usability of central bank money, (ii) supporting monetary sovereignty, and limiting the risk specific to “external” digital assets, (iii) supporting the strategic autonomy of the European continent.

In parallel, improving the EU AML efficiency appears as an endless task, as the various high-profile money-laundering scandals across the EU have been considered as indicative of structural deficiencies of the system which demanded a renewed legislative package encompassing the creation of an EU authority (EU AMLA).

Contributions to the policy debate

Extracted from the main Eurofi publications (Regulatory Updates, Views Magazines and Conference Summaries)

Public and private
sector views

CBDC opportunities and challenges - February 2022

Ulrich Bindseil - European Central Bank | Denis Beau - Banque de France | Marcel Haag - European Commission | Anna Breman - Sveriges Riksbank | Marion Rouso - La Banque Postale | Kristine Braden - Citigroup Global Markets Europe AG | Alejandra Kindelán Oteyza - Grupo Santander

Cross-border payments: success factors and challenges - February 2022

Ulrich Bindseil - European Central Bank | Burkhard Balz - Deutsche Bundesbank | Marc Bayle de Jessé - CLS Bank International | Massimiliano Alvisini - Western Union | Brett Loper - American Express | Thierry Chilosi - SWIFT

EU AML / CFT authority: success factors - February 2022

Gediminas Šimkus - Bank of Lithuania | Marcus Pleyer - Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany | Philippe Bertho - Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution | Derville Rowland - Central Bank of Ireland | Duncan DeVille - Western Union | Jesper Berg - Danish Financial Supervisory Authority

Instant payments and EPI - February 2022

Burkhard Balz - Deutsche Bundesbank | Tuomas Välimäki - Bank of Finland | Piero Cipollone - Banca d’Italia | Eric Tak - ING Group

Global cross-border payments - September 2021

Denis Beau - Banque de France | Thomas Lammer - Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures | Dirk Schrade - Deutsche Bundesbank | Marc Bayle de Jessé - CLS Bank International | Tim Keane - Western Union Payment Services Ireland

New EU retail payment era - September 2021

Madis Müller - National Bank of Estoni | Ulrich Bindseil - European Central Bank | Burkhard Balz - Deutsche Bundesbank | Ondřej Kovařík - European Parliament | Charlotte Hogg - Visa Europe | Jean Diacono - American Express

Redesigning EU AML policy - September 2021

Dominique Laboureix - Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution | Martin Merlin - European Commission | François-Louis Michaud - European Banking Authority | Jesper Berg - Danish Financial Supervisory Authority | Rimantas Šadžius - European Court of Auditors | Marcus Pleyer - Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany | Agata Strozynska - Western Union