Ten recommendations for a stronger e-payment landscape
Ecommerce Europe’s 2013 position paper on e-payments was presented in Barcelona at the pre-conference e-Payments, just before the 2013 Global E-commerce Summit (GES). It is Ecommerce Europe’s vision that successful pan-European e-payment methods are a crucial element in future growth of the e-commerce market.
Paul Alfing, chair e-Payments Committee Ecommerce Europe: “Important is the coming revision of the Payment Service Directive, which will make it easier for new players to access payment accounts, possibly leading to more payment services to merchants”.
Ecommerce Europe aims to transform its vision into actions and initatives towards a more effective and efficient e-payments landscape in Europe, beneficial for both web merchants and consumers. Ecommerce Europe has installed a Working Committee E-Payments to strengthen and communicate European merchants’ vision and viewpoints regarding e-payments.
10 recommendations for a stronger payment landscape
The position paper highlights 6 topics that are top of the agenda for merchants, such as access to the payment account, authentication and 3D Secure, Online Banking e-Payment solutions, SEPA and wallet solutions. The topics led to 10 recommendations for merchants and stakeholders. Two overall recommendations will be highlighted below.
Access to the payment account
A new development that merchants have high expectations of is the concept dubbed by the European Central Bank (ECB) ‘access to the account’ . The idea of banks opening up their payment accounts for third parties to get information or initiate payments is inspiring and can boost innovation. Access to the account can accelerate product development and foster competition.
Merchants welcome developments that strengthen innovation and competition in payments for consumer-not-present contexts. Consumers can also benefit from new information services that come with their payment accounts and new forms of payment initiation built on top of SEPA instruments (such as SEPA Credit Transfers and SEPA Direct Debits).
SEPA Direct Debit and e-mandate
Direct debits are an attractive and cost effective way of paying in specific situations, such as recurring payments and situations where the risk is low or where the amount is not fully specified at the moment of ordering. The e-mandate is a mean to unlock SEPA Direct Debits potential for the web, but is still poorly available for internet retailers. Ecommerce Europe calls on all stakeholders in the payments industry to introduce the e-mandate as a viable, interoperable alternative for the paper mandate.
New developments can bring positive features, but they must always be contained in a clear regulatory framework so merchants and consumers can have a clear understanding of rules and conditions. The regulatory and licensing regime of the soon to be revised Payment Service Directive (PSD) should be wide enough to assure the reliability and security of third party payment providers both for the consumers and the merchant.