The European Payments Initiative (EPI) has entered its next phase with Worldline and Nets becoming shareholders of the EPI Interim Company. Meanwhile, third-party acquirers have joined the initiative.
The EPI was created by 16 European banks in July to provide a unified, innovative pan-European payment solution leveraging Instant Payment/SEPA Instant Credit Transfer, which offers a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments.
Gilles Grapinet, chairman and CEO of Worldline, said: “Worldline warmly welcomed the launch of the European Payments Initiative by 16 major banks earlier this year, and consequently gladly accepted their invitation to join the EPI interim Company as the first non-bank acquirer.”
According to the EPI Interim Company, the joining of third-party acquirers will contribute to the expansion of the EPI’s acceptance network on the merchant side in Europe and will allow EPI to build up its own payment ecosystem in the continent.
Grapinet added: “Almost 20 years after the introduction of the Euro, the moment has come to join forces in a collective effort to provide consumers and merchants with a truly European digital payment solution, carefully designed for the business needs of the 21st century. As Europe’s leading Payment Service Provider for POS and E/M Commerce, Worldline intends to actively contribute to the definition of the necessary success factors for the future roll-out of EPI.”
New standard in payments
The solution aims to become a new standard in payments for European consumers and merchants across a range of retail transactions. These include in-store, online, cash withdrawal and “peer-to-peer”.
Bo Nilsson, Group CEO of Nets, said: “The European Payments Initiative will benefit the entire payments ecosystem in Europe. All stakeholders including issuers, acquirers, merchants and ultimately the end-consumers will gain from a strong and truly European digital payment solution.
“As a pan-European PayTech leader, and with our origin in one of the most digitised regions in the world, we look forward to becoming a significant contributor to designing and establishing a successful EPI platform. Based on modern payment technologies and capabilities, we will strive to make payments easier for merchants, banks and consumers across Europe.”