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Priorities for the next EU legislature in the payments area

Day 2 Afternoon

Thursday 04 April

Room :

Constanta Room - Roundtable


Madis Müller
Deputy Governor, National Bank of Estonia
Public Authorities
Marc Bayle de Jessé
Director General, Market Infrastructure and Payments, ECB
Ashley Fox
MEP, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, European Parliament
Päivi Heikkinen
Head of Payment Systems Department, Bank of Finland
Industry Representatives
Stefen Lindsay
Head of Standards, SWIFT
Brett Loper
Executive Vice President, Global Government Affairs, American Express
Florence Lustman
Chief Finance and Public Affairs Officer, La Banque Postale
Pia Sorvillo
Director of European Affairs, Visa

Objectives of the session

Payments are a lively area. Even before payments widely leveraged AI, the accelerated growth of e-commerce and digital economy, notably through M-Payments notably boosted card payments. Although many Bigtech and payment service providers are non-EU companies, this context tiriggered an EU initiative to define an additional EU (instant) payment scheme (SCT Inst) and for the ECB to launch a TARGET instant payment settlement facility (TIPS).

The EU Commission is accompanying and even accelerating the trend by providing the market with legislations intended to encourage innovation and competition, and limit costs.

Without mentioning recent additional AML regulatory initiatives and the General Data Privacy Directive, the Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2), is expected to open up payment markets to new entrants operating in the area of payment initiation or account information services. A regulation has also put a cap on interchange fees charged between banks for card-based transactions in order to reduce the costs for merchants in accepting consumer debit and credit cards.

This session is intended to discuss whether those accelerated technological and regulatory evolutions are effectively improving customer convenience and security, and favourably influencing product innovation and pricing. This should in turn facilitate the identification of possible EU policy priorities for the next Commission in order to improve where necessary the regulatory and competitive context, and further develop innovation in the EU.

Points of discussion

What are the main trends observed in retail payments in the EU notably in the context of accelerating digitalisation and the dominance of BigTechs? What role have been played in this respect by the various recent legislative initiatives (PSD2, GDPR, AML…)? What challenges does it raise for incumbents, retail customers and eventually for EU legislators?

What are the main legislative evolutions witnessed in the area of cards in the EU during this Commission and which are the related underlying trends? What are the observed benefits and drawbacks? Taking stock of what has been achieved what should be the next policy priorities?

How are Instant Payments developing in the EU? What is the expected role of this new scheme and related infrastructures in the EU payment landscape?

What are the issues raised by the fact that large non-EU institutions play an essential role in the provision of payment services in Europe, while European banks and payment schemes are focused on their national market in a context where certain policy makers call for Europe to develop its own messaging and payment systems and not be dependent on the USA?