On 6 July, the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), the European Central Bank’s high-level strategic body tasked with fostering the integration, innovation and competitiveness of euro retail payments in the European Union, held its thirteenth meeting. Ecommerce Europe is represented in the ERPB by Marc Nieto, Chief Executive Officer of MPServices, and Payment & Fraud Expert for Adigital, the Spanish e-commerce association, member of Ecommerce Europe. During the meeting, the ERPB discussed the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, person-to-person mobile payments and instant retail payments in euro. Furthermore, they followed up on ERPB’s 2020 priorities and reviewed the ERPB membership.
Response to the COVID-19 pandemic
In terms of the pandemic, ERPB noticed a relative increase in the share of contactless point-of-sale payments and online payments, as well as a strong decline in automated teller machine (ATM) cash withdrawals after an initial surge in the demand for cash at the start of the pandemic. The ERPB concluded that the payment industry has managed the crisis with resilience and without disruption to services. The ERPB’s Secretariat will provide members with an update on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic at the ERPB’s November 2020 meeting.
Person-to-person (P2P) mobile payments
The ERPB welcomed the launch of version 2.0 of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Proxy Lookup (SPL) service rulebook in March 2020 and its entry into force on 1 June 2020. The SPL scheme was designed as a follow-up to the June 2015 ERPB recommendations to allow the exchange of data necessary to initiate P2P mobile payments between proxy-based mobile payment solutions at a pan-European level. While the scheme has no participant to date, the enhancements contained in the rulebook are expected to increase the attractiveness of the scheme. The ERPB will continue encouraging P2P mobile payment solution and proxy database providers, expecting them to join the SPL scheme in order to foster the processing of cross-border mobile payments and achieve pan-European reach.
Instant retail payments in euro
The ERPB took note of the EPC update on the implementation and adherence to the SCT Inst scheme. Furthermore, the ERPB Working Group on Instant Payments at the point of interaction (POI) provided an interim report containing the results of a stocktake of solutions that enable instant payments at the POI and a status update on the development of the interoperability framework (including governance) for such solutions, to be delivered to the ERPB in November 2020. The ERPB reiterated its call to the supply side of the industry to implement instant payments, ensure pan-European reach as soon as possible, and support end-user take-up.
ERPB priorities for 2020
The ERPB also discussed its priorities for 2020, which included the SEPA Application Programming Interface (API) Access Scheme, Transparency for retail payments end-users, and Access to cash.
As a last point, the ERPB discussed its current composition, as foreseen in its mandate every two years, and noted that, overall, based on the experience gathered with the functioning of the ERPB and recent developments, the composition is deemed fit to ensure representativeness of both the demand side and the supply side.