Ecommerce Europe members discuss next steps in online payments


On 2 May, Ecommerce Europe welcomed members of the e-Payments Working Committee and of the e-Payments Expert Taskforce to Brussels to discuss the most urgent and upcoming legislative actions and positions. With rapid developments in technological solutions continuing to change the online payments landscape, creating European legislation working driving seamless, convenient, safe and technologically neutral e-payments solutions is crucial for online merchants.

European draft security guidelines in online payments continues to pose risks

In light of the ongoing drafting and revision of the EBA’s final draft RTS on Strong Customer Authentication by the European Commission, members of the Working Committee discussed immediate actions and positions to be undertaken at European and national level over the coming weeks.

Ecommerce Europe continues to stress that the final draft RTS continue to pose significant risks to the international competitiveness and business models of European online merchants. Ecommerce Europe, therefore calls on the European Commission to specifically address the following concerns:

  1. Revise the Reference Fraud Rates to bring them in line with market realities
  2. Expand the application of Transactional Risk Assessment to online merchants and online merchants’ Payment Service Providers
  3. Expand the dynamic linking requirements to allow for Transactional Risk Assessment

FinTech as an opportunity for merchants

Members of the e-Payments Working Committee, together with their taskforce colleagues, also discussed Ecommerce Europe’s position on FinTech and its response to the ongoing public consultation on FinTech. The consultation seeks input from stakeholders to develop the Commission’s policy approach towards new and innovative solutions in financial services such as virtual currencies and blockchain technology.

For online merchants, developments in FinTech may bring with it a plethora of benefits and opportunities in making the payment transaction process safer, more streamlined and cheaper, but also a number of challenges and threats.

Over the coming weeks, Ecommerce Europe will draft a response to the European Commission’s consultation. In addition, Ecommerce Europe will host a dedicated policy track session on “The role of digital currencies and blockchain in e-commerce” at the Global E-commerce Summit 2017 from 12-14 June.

Universal acceptance of debit cards is key

Furthermore, members also discussed issues of payment systems interoperability, with a particular focus on the EU-wide interoperability of debit cards in online payments. Today, debit cards remain the widely used  and cost-efficient card-based payment methods in Europe. However, due to operational restrictions, many retailers do not accept debit cards from other EU countries, accepting only  credit cards.

Members stressed that, while it is important to advocate for a full interoperability of all card-based payment methods within the Single Market, excessive operational costs of mandating universal acceptance and upcoming technological non-card-based solutions for cross-border online payments should also be taken into account.