ECB Speech on European Retail Payments Developments


On February 15, 2018, the European Central Bank (“ECB“) published a speech by Yves Mersch, ECB executive board member, on European retail payments markets developments. The speech is available here.

In the speech, Mr. Mersch calls on the payment industry to develop end-user solutions that will allow consumers and businesses to enjoy the benefits of instant payments in any payment situation, in addition to cash. Issues considered by Mr. Mersch include:

  • Instant payments. Among other things, Mr. Mersch notes that the TARGET instant payment settlement (“TIPS“) service is scheduled to go live in November 2018.
  • Point-of-sale-payments. Mr. Mersch calls on the payment industry to develop instant point-of-sale solutions that provide merchants with immediate and final payment, with funds credited to their accounts with finality, like cash.
  • E-commerce. The ERPB’s work to reach an agreement on the necessary technical, operational business elements to ensure the pan-European provision of innovative and competitive payment initiation services is expected to be concluded by June 2018.
  • Security. Mr. Mersch notes that the regulatory technical standards supplementing the revised Payment Services Directive on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication calls on payment service providers will probably not be applicable until September 2019 at the earliest.

He calls on payment service providers to comply with these regulatory technical standards before they apply, even though they will not be legally required to do so.