EPI broadens its support to the proposed legislation on Instant Payments, in alignment with the European Commission

March 20, 2023

EPI welcomes the Commission’s legislative proposal for an Instant Credit Transfers regulation based on SCT Inst which reinforces the Commission’s Retail Payments Strategy and provides reassurance to EPI, as a unified Pan-European payment solution based on instant payments. The EC’s proposal to make instant payments available to all European citizens on issuing and receiving sides, be they individuals or businesses/merchants, is indeed paramount to ensuring the unity and sovereignty of European retail payments. In addition, the proposal will also enhance the intra-EU capabilities for exchanging cross-border transactions if AML/CFT controls for regulated PSPs are properly optimised and not hindered by national regulatory provisions.

EPI encourages the European Parliament and the Council to rapidly adopt this new regulation, sending a signal to the market that delivering the best of instant payments to European citizens is a worthwhile investment, and that a viable business model will be granted for the developing solutions.

EPI Company considers that Instant Payments (SCT Inst) are the best possible answer to the issues of fragmentation and vulnerability in the European payments landscape, pursuing the ambition of the Retail Payments Strategy for the EU. Instant payments have the potential to address a wide spectrum of payment situations, such as unattended commerce and the increasingly evolving payment needs of consumers, merchants and businesses on the European market. EPI has developed a full payment scheme (processes and flows including for advanced transactions) making instant payments “commerce ready”.

Instant payments are a genuine innovation, bringing value to consumers, merchants and businesses across a diverse range of payment use cases. The immediate execution of payments constitutes a real benefit in a number of situations, especially for payments between individuals (Person-to-Person) or with professionals or small businesses (P-to-Pro). It increases trust and overall security in the payment process.

Additionally, instant payments are transferred directly from one payment account to another, without unnecessary intermediary accounts or form factors in the middle. This transparency is a strong guarantee of efficiency and performance, including for e-commerce and in-person payments. No need to refund intermediary accounts with other payment means. Moreover, it avoids confusion for consumers and merchants, and improves the personal finance management capabilities and control of the consumers, while also protecting their personal data.

In this respect, EPI Company is supporting the European Commission’s legislative proposal on instant payments, as a progressive step towards making instant payments the new normal for retail payments in Europe, supporting its adoption by consumers and merchants. This regulation will indeed enable open competition between private actors in the market, as well as  future development of all European digital account-to-account solutions. A strong instant payments solution will be crucial in the future of European retail payments, as similar solutions are emerging all around the world. Hence EPI considers that the legislative proposal of the Commission lays the foundation for realisation of Europe’s ambition to become more independent and sovereign in respect to retail payments.

A sustainable payment solution also needs a fair business model, that’s why EPI Company invites the EC to safeguard this on behalf of all stakeholders, should this be possible under the new regulation. This will benefit future innovations and development of this new means of payment for the Retail market.

If enforced, EPI Company looks forward to contributing to an efficient implementation of the regulation, together with the European Commission and all relevant market players. Nevertheless, EPI Company remains conscious of the continuous investments made by the private sector to enable this capability on behalf of European citizens and would like to emphasise the importance of allowing fair remuneration for the services that will be provided.