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May 7, 2020updated 19 Jun 2020 3:32am

European payments heavyweights form EDPIA

By Douglas Blakey

Ingenico, Nets, Nexi, and Worldline are launching the European Digital Payments Industry Alliance (EDPIA).

Based in Brussels, the EDPIA’s first President will be Gilles Grapinet, Chairman, CEO of Worldline.

The new EU trade body has a compelling vision for Europe to become a global leader in digital payments.

In turn that can fuel the completion of the Digital Single Market for the benefit of consumers, businesses and the public sector.

The EDPIA will engage in EU policy discussions impacting the EU payments sector. Moreover, it aims to help bring instant, secure and frictionless payments closer to EU citizens, businesses, and public bodies.

The EDPIA believes in a strong and properly enforced European policy framework that enables intense competition between transparent and market-based solutions that compete for trust of payment services users.

EDPIA: a major initiative 

Grapinet tells EPI: “I am very excited about this major initiative. The EDPIA will give a voice to the incredible technology and engineering behind Europe’s payments industry.

“Europe has a wealth of world-class payments firms which have become strongholds of Europe’s fintech environment. We want to help demystifying our industry and offer European society a better understanding of what is behind the payments terminals and online payments engines it uses daily.

“The proven reliability and flawless availability of payments infrastructure during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis is a good reminder of the critical importance for our society of the European digital payment industry. By launching the EDPIA, we intend to emphasise our role through constructive dialogue with policy makers and other stakeholders that determine Europe’s payments landscape.”

The European Digital Payment Services Alliance manifesto

The EDPIA brings together the largest European independent payment service providers behind a common cause. That is to fuel the completion of the Digital Single Market.

Moreover, the EDPIA is committed to help drive innovation in Europe and to create the eco-system that will attract the best talent and enhance technological know-how in Europe.

Analyses estimate significant growth potential (on the long-run level of 4% of GDP) that could be unleashed by the adoption of digital enablers.

Digital payments represent such enablers, offering new ways to meet the social demand for payments which are faster, more efficient, and more convenient.

Instant, secure and frictionless payments provide transformative potential for the Digital Single Market to generate significant benefits for citizens, merchants – many of which start-ups /scale-ups and SMEs – as well as users of digital payments in the public sector.

In addition to clear economic benefits, digital payments also have an important societal role. They are a crucial tool to foster financial inclusion and are therefore key to maintain Europe’s social market economy, as payments are usually citizens’ main touch point with advanced technology in a financial services context.

Payments at the core of the 4th industrial revolution: EDPIA

They are also core to economic resiliency in providing robust yet flexible ways for payments infrastructures to adjust in times of severe crisis as experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDPIA sees the payments industry at the core of the fourth industrial revolution. It is a key ground for the application and adaptation of new technologies that will improve citizens’ well-being beyond payments alone.

European payments: a diverse ecosystem

EDPIA believes in a strong, stable and properly enforced European regulatory framework that enables intense competition between transparent and market-based solutions that compete for the trust of their European and global customers.

To support a rules-based competitive single market, the payments sector needs a diverse ecosystem. This is acknowledged in several key EU legislation such as the PSD2 and the Interchange Fee Regulation.

EDPIA: engaging with major stakeholders

A diverse payments ecosystem that can compete on a level playing field terms will help drive an innovative payments industry in Europe. As key players and thought-leaders of the industry, EDPIA’s members will constructively engage with other major stakeholders on policy matters that contribute to building a world-class payments ecosystem in Europe.

This includes banks, which remain an essential node in this ecosystem. Innovation in the sector also triggers new challenges. European policy makers are rightly increasing the levels of vigilance over the access to, sharing, use and storage of data.

The EU is a world leader in personal data protection standards, and the EDPIA believes it is possible to build out a vibrant digital economy while upholding these and future data standards that will be needed to unleash Europe’s full innovative potential.

The payments industry is at the front line of this debate. EDPIA is committed to work with European institutions and stakeholder groups to promote digital, secure, and frictionless European payment solutions for the benefit of European businesses, consumers, and governments.

And it will strive to build a world-class European payments industry that reinforces EU’s competitiveness worldwide and that supports Europe to become a global leader in payments innovation through engineering as well as the development of advanced services and products across the complete value chain, from issuing of payment instruments to omni-channel acceptance solutions.

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