Taking stock of recent developments in the European payment landscape


Last week Ecommerce Europe attended a High-level meeting on the Future of the European Payments Industry with the European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis.

As the deadline for providing technical specifications and testing facilities in March is approaching, this meeting was an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead. We continue to advocate for a harmonized approach to API standards that would focus on the customer experience and enable the development of cost effective, interoperable and innovative payment services. Ecommerce Europe believes that securing certain functionalities would go a long way to ensure that APIs do fit the need of all market participants.

 There are still a number of challenges ahead to ensure that the PSD2 delivers on its promises, such as dealing with the problem of fragmentation between different national interpretations of the rules and  different API initiatives’ standards.

 But we also need to look beyond 14 September and engage in a discussion on the future of the European payment industry. The discussion also represented an opportunity to take stock of the recent developments and initiatives, as well as to discuss the solutions of tomorrow to develop a truly competitive and harmonized European payment landscape.

From an e-commerce perspective, a well-functioning, competitive European payment market is essential to ensure the development of innovative, cost-effective and secure solutions that European online merchants need in order to grow, but also remain competitive worldwide.

 The e-commerce sector and payments solutions have to adapt to  the evolution of retail payments and consumer behavior and expectations. Those trends, focusing on ecommerce, include of course the development of mobile commerce, but also the omnichannel experiences and the development of Internet of Things that considerably change the way we shop, and therefore, the way we expect to pay and authenticate ourselves.

 Recent developments such as SEPA Instant Credit Transfer and PSD2 could enable the development of new solutions to the challenges online merchants face, but the speed at which these could be developed is still unknown and will require close cooperation between actors.