Payments are an essential gluing element between people and the economy. For many years, payments have been rather basic – carried out in cash, cheques or electronic payment instruments with limited, simple features. This contributed to the European Single Market developing into an unequivocal historical success. Yet, this framework was insufficient to promote a genuine European digital single market where everyone can carry out payments anywhere and anytime in a secure, digital, fast and cost-efficient manner.
The European Digital Payment Services Alliance (EDPIA) brings together the largest European independent payment service providers behind a common cause: fuelling the completion of the Digital Single Market. Analyses estimate significant growth potential (on the long-run level of 4% of GDP) that could be unleashed by the adoption of digital enablers.1 Digital payments represent such enablers, offering new ways to meet the social demand for payments which are faster, more efficient, and more convenient.2 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. 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. We are 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
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 legislations such as the PSD2 and the Interchange Fee Regulation. 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 our 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 we believe 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 frontline 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. We 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.
1EPRS, The cost of Non-Europe in the Single Market (2014)
2ECB, Innovation and its impact of the European retail payment landscape (2019)