Reflecting on 2013: e-payments


Reflecting on 2013, Ecommerce Europe repeats its position on e-payments in the shape of an excerpt of its Position Paper. Prior to the Global E-commerce Summit on 16-18 June 2014, the e-Payments Working Committee will publish a revised version of the e-Payments Position Paper. The issues addressed are the following:

  • Access to the payment account
  • Strong authentication
  • Card based payments and 3D secure
  • Online Banking e-payment solutions
  • EPA Direct Debit and e-mandate
  • Wallet solutions

Retailers welcome the initiatives taken by the European Central Bank (ECB) on the concept of ‘access to the payment account’. This initiative entails that banks open up their payment accounts for third parties to acquire information for innovative purposes. Ecommerce Europe urges European lawmakers to provide a structure for technical and contractual arrangements to assure legal clarity and technical scalability for third party services. Developing this initiative requires adequate communication to consumers and merchants in order to build trust.

Trust is further assured when security, consumer privacy and user experience is strengthened and smoothened through strong authentication methods. Fraudulent uses of online consumers’ data hampers the growth of e-commerce throughout Europe. A pan-European scheme on e-ID services is a three way win: online consumers are better protected leading to a rise in revenues for online retailers, which contributes to economic growth for the whole of Europe.

Since cards remain the dominant payment method online, Ecommerce Europe calls for strengthening the security of card based transactions with 3D secure methods.

In order to facilitate e-commerce further, Ecommerce Europe calls upon the European payments industry to implement a pan European Online Banking and e-Payment (OBeP) solution. Currently, the European market is too fragmented as no harmonized system exists.

Ecommerce Europe concludes that on e-mandates more progress could have been made since 2012. E-mandates allows a creditor to collect funds from a debtor’s account on an automatic basis. Currently, this is done via hard copy (paper) versions. In a time of far going digitalization, this area still lags behind. Ecommerce Europe calls on all stakeholders in the payments industry to introduce the e-mandate.

Finally, Ecommerce Europe supports retailers’ claims to request more harmonization and clarity regarding the legal framework, fee structure and chargeback rights associated with wallet solutions.

For the 2013 E-Payments Position Paper, please click here.