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European retail payments market enters a new era.

Paris: Member of the Executive Board of the ECB Yves Mersch said with the launch of instant payments in euro in November 2017, the European retail payments market entered a new era. We are moving from a world where it is considered normal to wait a day or more for a payment to arrive to a world where payments are delivered in real time.

This is overdue as I consider it anachronistic that services in an e-commerce transaction are delivered in real time and even goods sometimes only take a few hours - while the settlement of payments to release such goods and services would take a full business day. Now, payments will be delivered as fast as emails, instant messages and streamed content. I believe that - as was the case in these other industries - end-users, at least the younger and technology-proficient generation, will soon start to expect instant payments. Instant has the potential to become the new normal, and we will wonder how we were ever satisfied with payments arriving only on the next business day.

In order to support these demands and enhance customer experience, it is not sufficient to have the infrastructures in place to process payments instantly; payment solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of consumers and businesses are also required. In order to foster a dialogue on such needs, the ECB hosted an event last week at which providers demonstrated the apps they have created to support instant payments and exchanged views about the extent to which they would meet customer needs. This event reinforced my firm belief that instant payments will be the basis for innovative payment solutions, but at the same time, it is only in combination with these solutions that instant payments will live up to their potential to become the new normal. This is why today I call on the industry to take the next step and develop end-user solutions that will allow consumers and businesses to enjoy the benefits of instant electronic payments in any payment situation, in addition to cash, which is still popular.

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Publication:Daily the Pak Banker (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Feb 23, 2018
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