On the 8th of November, Ecommerce Europe attended the European Commission (EC) and European Central Bank (ECB) stakeholder meeting on internet payments at the ECB in Frankfurt, Germany. Paul Alfing, chair of the e-payments working committee, represented Ecommerce Europe.
Alfing: “this meeting was an opportunity for innovation in the sector. Because new payment options, especially cross-border, will stimulate trade and contribute to our mantra of reach, conversion and fair cost. Important factors for success are security, safety, interoperability and clear communication towards consumers”.
The purpose of the meeting was to clarify the expectations of the different market actors and to develop concrete suggestions regarding the conditions under which an integrated, competitive and secure online payments environment could be achieved. The discussion had a focus on access to Payment Accounts with a security and a policy perspective, but most discussed was the legal/regulatory framework for Third Party service Providers.
Alfing: “this meeting has been an opportunity to stress our vision towards a more effective and efficient e-payment landscape in Europe that is beneficial for both web merchants and consumers”. Other participants were the SEPA Council technical experts, European representative organizations and market participants.
Building on the important milestone of pan-European credit transfers and direct debits, both the EC and ECB see significant benefits in further market integration for card, internet and mobile payments. A crucial element of the integration process is to make sure that the various service providers operate under the same conditions to the benefit of end users and – provided payments security is guaranteed – that there should not be any unjustified obstacle to market entry by new players.