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January 4, 2023

On the web

European Central Bank Calls For Input to Create Digital Euro Scheme Rulebook

Ledger Insights

"The European Central Bank is forming a working group that will consult in the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) rule book for the Digital Euro Scheme. All potential digital euro payments will have to comply with the set of rules created with work on the rulebook commencing in February. In December, the ECB appointed Christian Schäfer to manage the digital euro scheme rulebook. Now it’s looking for individuals to join the Rulebook Development Group that Schäfer chairs, but they must represent a stakeholder association. The relevant stakeholders include banks, payment providers, as well as the users of a potential digital euro such as consumers, retailers, corporates or SME users."

December 20, 2022

On the web

Cash Remains the Most Frequently Used Means of Payment in Stores but Electronic Payments Grow Further, ECB Study Shows

European Central Bank

“Cash is still the most frequently used means of payment at the point of sale, but its share is declining according to the latest study on the payment attitudes of consumers in the euro area, published today by the European Central Bank (ECB). Cash was used for 59% of point-of-sale transactions in 2022, down from 72% in 2019. It is the means of payment most often used for small-value payments in stores and for person-to-person transactions.”

October 3, 2022

On the web

Fluency’s CBDC Technology Meets All Key ECB Foundation Design Aspects for a Digital Euro

prnewswire

“The European Central Bank released on 29th September 2022, their latest progress report on the investigation phase of their digital euro project and elaborates on foundational design features approved by the Governing Council. The report highlights key operational transfer mechanism requirements for the digital euro including:  Online validation by third-parties; Offline functionality (where payee or payer are not connected to the internet) and peer-to-peer validation; Privacy level at least equal to current private sector digital solutions; Compatibility with current regulatory framework.”

June 8, 2022

On the web

Revolut Partners with Tink for European Payments

Tink

“Tink, Europe’s leading open banking platform, and Revolut, the global financial super app with more than 18 million customers worldwide, have entered into a strategic partnership for open banking technology.  Tink’s payment initiation services (PIS) technology will allow Revolut users across Europe to seamlessly move money into their Revolut account. PIS enables users to connect to the bank account they want to move money from, and instantaneously authorise and complete the payment without leaving the Revolut app.”

Modulr Launches SEPA Instant Service to Supercharge Real-Time European Business Payments

Fintech Finance

“Modulr, the embedded payments platform, has today announced it has launched its real-time Euro payments service, based on the real-time pan European SEPA Instant scheme, which operates 24/7, settles funds in 10 seconds and presents European businesses with significant competitive opportunities. The new service enables customers to build and launch embedded real-time Euro payment propositions via the Modulr API, allowing them to send and receive payments immediately, under their own or Modulr’s regulated status. By embedding real-time payments directly into their software, businesses in the European market will be able to deliver efficient and competitive payment propositions more easily and quickly than previously possible.”

May 3, 2022

On the web

Join the Digital Euro Front-End Prototyping Exercise (European Central Bank)

European Central Bank

“The digital euro investigation phase is moving forward with an exercise to explore user interface solutions for making payments with digital euro.  The ECB has launched a call for expression of interest for payment service providers, banks and other relevant companies to join an exercise to develop prototype user interfaces. Selected front-end providers will form a pool of providers with which the ECB can collaborate on the development of prototypes that address specific use cases for the payment process.”

April 21, 2022

On the web

Euro Notches Biggest Drop as Global Payment Currency Since 2011

Bloomberg

“The euro is being used less often as a global payment currency, posting its biggest percentage-point drop in more than a decade in March, as inflation and the war in Ukraine weigh on its appeal for transactions.  Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar remained in the top spot for a 10th consecutive month, and has dominated global payments for the most part since 2013, according to data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, or SWIFT.”

March 22, 2022

On the web

EPI abandons plan for Visa and Mastercard rival as member banks quit

Finextra Research

“The European Payments Initiative has given up on its effort to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa in Europe after more than half its members left. Initially backed by 31 major Eurozone banks and acquirers Worldline and Nets, the EPI set itself the goal of building a unified pan-European payment system, offering a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments.”

August 24, 2021

On the wires

Selecta Group and Fiserv to Roll Out Cashless Payments Across Europe

Selecta Group, Europe’s leading route-based self-service retailer offering coffee and convenience food solutions in the workplace and in public spaces, is partnering with Fiserv, Inc. , (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, to commence the enhancement and streamlining of digital payments across its points of sale, meeting consumer demand and boosting operational efficiency as self-service technologies such as vending machines and smart fridges boom in a pandemic-conscious world.”

August 10, 2021

On the web

WordPress Plugin WooCommerce Activates Its Payments Offering in Europe

TechRadar

“Popular WordPress ecommerce plugin WooCommerce has expanded its payment services across four new countries as part of plans to reach more retailers and SMBs worldwide.   Businesses in Spain, Italy, France and Germany will now have access to WooCommerce’s solution, which allows users to manage payments directly from their store’s dashboard. The firm has also added multi-currency support, which lets customers shop in any of the 135 currencies WooCommerce supports. Previously, merchants were required to use a plugin to add further currencies.”

July 12, 2021

On the web

Why Europe Is Building Another Payments Network Even Though It Doesn’t Need One

Fortune

“Yet despite this surfeit of choices, many of Europe’s largest banks are backing an effort to build a new European-wide payments network that could replace national payments networks and challenge the dominance of Visa and Mastercard across the continent…Previous efforts to create such a pan-European payments network failed. Most recently, one called the Monnet Project collapsed before it ever got off the ground in 2011. This time, the project is likely to at least make it to launch. That’s because the new European Payments Initiative (EPI for short) is as much about politics as it is about business.”

May 25, 2021

On the wires

ACI Worldwide and J.P. Morgan Collaborate to Offer Merchants in Europe Greater Choice of Payment Options

ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time digital payment software and solutions , today announced a collaboration with J.P. Morgan, a global leader across banking, markets and securities services, that will enable merchants in certain European countries to deliver in-store payment acceptance capabilities to their customers. J.P. Morgan has been ranked the top acquirer of web transactions in Europe1 for the sixth consecutive year. Through this collaboration, merchants will have a pre-certified and easy-to-onboard service combining J.P. Morgan’s European acquiring platform with the ACI Omni-Commerce solution to deliver in-store payment acceptance capabilities.”

May 3, 2021

On the web

Europe’s largest banks plan joint attack on US payments giants

FT

“More than 30 of Europe’s largest banks and credit card processors are trying to create a payments giant capable of shattering a US-dominated “oligopoly”. A Brussels-based venture, which currently employs 40 payment experts, has until September to draw up a blueprint for a pan-European payments service that can be used to pay online as well as in stores, to settle bills between individual consumers and to withdraw cash at ATMs. “The idea is to build a European payment champion that can take on PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Google and Apple,” said Joachim Schmalzl, the chair of the European Payment Initiative.”

March 5, 2021

On the wires

Fidor Solutions Partners With SIA to Launch Instant Payments Service in Europe

“Fidor Solutions, a 100 % subsidiary of Sopra Banking Software, has signed a partnership agreement with SIA, a leading European hi-tech company in payment services and infrastructures, controlled by CDP Equity, to launch its new instant payments service in Germany and in other European countries. Thanks to this agreement, Fidor Solutions is able to allow European financial institutions and their customers to send and receive payments in less than 10 seconds for a maximum amount currently set at 100,000 euros per individual transaction, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in line with the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme of the European Payments Council (EPC).”

February 24, 2021

On the web

European Banks Seek Technical Partners to Help Build Rival to Visa and Mastercard

Finextra Research

“The European Payments Initiative, a bank-backed joint venture that aims to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa, has put out a Request for Information for ‘qualified technical partners’ to help build its central infrastructure. Backed by 31 major Eurozone banks and acquirers Wordlline and Nets, the EPI is striving to create a unified pan-European payment system, offering a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments.”

December 11, 2020

On the wires

The European Payments Initiative (EPI) announces major Polish and Finnish banks and consortium of twelve Spanish credit institutions join as new founding shareholders

“Today, EPI Interim Company, responsible for initiating the implementation of the European Payments Initiative (EPI), is pleased to announce that PKO Bank Polski (“PKO BP”), Poland’s largest bank, and OP Financial Group, the leading Finnish retail bank, are joining EPI as founding shareholders of the recently created company. Furthermore, a group of 12 Spanish credit institutions banks has also formed a consortium and are joining EPI as a collective founding shareholder of the EPI Interim Company.”

November 25, 2020

On the web

Worldline and Nets become shareholders of EPI Interim Company

Electronic Payments International

“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.”

November 24, 2020

On the web

November 16, 2020

On the web

Nexi Buys Nets in $9.2 Billion Deal to Create Payment Giant

Bloomberg (paywall)

“Italian payments processor Nexi SpA agreed to buy private equity-owned rival Nets A/S , creating the Europe’s biggest payments firm by volume in a quickly consolidating industry…The transaction, finalized just a month after Nexi purchased another competitor, adds to a wave of consolidation sweeping the continent’s financial services industry, and will extend the Italian company’s reach across Europe, where it has operations spanning Italy, German-speaking countries and the Nordics.”

October 30, 2020

On the web

Stripe moves payment processing to Dublin due to Brexit

Irish Times

Share to Email App Share to LinkedIn Stripe is shifting payment processing for the majority of its European customers to its Irish-regulated entity because of Brexit, the company said on Thursday. The online payments company said processing for all customers outside of the UK and Switzerland will change to Dublin-based Stripe Technology Europe Limited, instead of Stripe Payments UK Limited as of November 19th. “We are making this change to ensure Brexit has no effect on your use of Stripe’s services. The only difference you may notice is that when you receive payouts from Stripe, the statement descriptor on your bank account statement may refer to STEL,”? the company said.”

October 29, 2020

On the web

ECB Glitch Reduced Bank Deposits by More Than 400 Billion Euros

Bloomberg

“A glitch in the European Central Bank’s system for settling large-value payments by commercial and central banks has resulted in a drop in deposits worth more than 400 billion euros ($473 billions).    The interruption — which occurred on Friday and lasted more than 11 hours — meant large institutions were unable to move their cash in the usual way. The failure was illustrated in data published Tuesday by the ECB that shows a 416 billion-euro slump in the use of the deposit facility at the central bank. The cash remained in banks’ current accounts, and the balances have since returned to normal. Still, the incident highlights the critical role of the payments infrastructure for the euro area, and the risks that could be posed from a longer outage.”

October 28, 2020

On the web

Europe’s Core Payments Network Disrupted by Technical Malfunction

Wall Street Journal (pay wall)

“The European Central Bank blamed a software defect for a disruption to the region’s main wholesale payment system last week that left banks unable to process transactions and securities trades for almost 11 hours. The outage on Friday paralyzed the ECB’s Target2 payments system, which provides the plumbing that allows money to flow across the bloc’s single market. Owned and operated by the region’s central banks, it processes around €2 trillion in transactions a day, equivalent to $2.35 trillion and to around a fifth of the eurozone’s annual economic output. The “major incident” took place at about 2:40 p.m. on Friday, according to the ECB. After a backup system failed, commercial banks couldn’t process transactions through about 1:20 a.m. the following morning. While European businesses and individuals could continue to make payments, the money wasn’t landing where it should.”

October 7, 2020

On the web

Nexi is Said to Pursue Nets in New Blockbuster Payments Play

Bloomberg (paywall)

Nexi SpA is already hunting for its next target after agreeing a milestone payments merger with Italian rival SIA SpA , as consolidation in the sector shows little sign of easing. Milan-based Nexi made a non-binding bid for Denmark’s Nets A/S , people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nets’s private-equity owners invited a select group of potential buyers to submit offers and could enter advanced talks with a preferred bidder as soon as this month, one of the people said.”

May 27, 2020

On the wires

Stripe Launches in Five More European Countries

“Stripe, a global technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet, today announced its official launch in the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta. Europe is home to some of the largest and fastest-growing online economies in the world. This growth is even increased by the accelerated shift from offline to online that the COVID-19 crisis has brought with it, making the need for financial infrastructure and accessibility more apparent than ever. Stripe’s availability now enables more European entrepreneurs and businesses to start accepting payments online from around the world in a matter of minutes.”

March 15, 2019

On the web

October 25, 2018

On the web

Pan-European Instant Payments – Which Scheme Should Banks Choose?

Global Banking & Finance Review

Domestic instant payments schemes are either live or in progress across the world. In Europe this poses some challenges for the next stage of real-time evolution: cross-border. Even though there is a single pan-EU rulebook “SEPA Inst”, Europe has 34 markets that are either implementing or have successfully implemented domestic schemes, which in turn makes true instant payments both within the Eurozone and beyond the single-currency borders a little complex. As well as domestic needs to transact with local banks, banks across Europe are acutely aware of the need to deliver cross-border real-time payments to their customers.”

September 20, 2018

On the web

July 25, 2018

On the web

Coinbase Lets You Convert Your Tokens Into Gift Cards

TechCrunch

“It’s still quite hard to buy physical goods using bitcoins or ethers. Coinbase plans to (partially) solve that issue with a new partnership with WeGift. Coinbase customers in Europe and Australia can now convert their tokens on their Coinbase account into digital gift cards for popular stores. For instance, you’ll be able to buy gift cards for Uber, Tesco, Google Play, Marks and Spencer and more. The feature is now live in the U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands and Australia.”

June 5, 2018

On the wires

Visa Announces Fast-Track Access To Its Network And $100m Investment For European FinTechs

Business Wire

“Starting in July, FinTech start-ups based in Europe can onboard to Visa’s global network in as little as four weeks. The new FinTech fast-track program provides rapid onboarding and reduced fees to help early stage start-ups gain access to the capabilities that lie within Visa’s global network to power their own ideas. Additionally, Visa has launched a $100m European investment program to support the thriving FinTech ecosystem in Europe and grow its investment activity in start-ups.”

June 1, 2018

Top Post

Visa Network Crash Hits Customers And Retailers

Sky News

“Customers are being left stranded at the tills due to a “service disruption” impacting Visa cards. Some businesses are currently unable to process payments made using Visa cards, impacting potentially millions of customers. “Visa is currently experiencing a service disruption. This incident is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed,” a Visa spokesperson told Sky News.”