Why the PPE pan-European payment project was scaled back

Why the PPE pan-European payment project was scaled back

The new pan-European PPE payment service promised for 2022 is losing its card component, the director general of the banking consortium told AFP on Thursday, but the project continues around instant payment and a digital wallet. “We can no longer make the European card scheme as we had imagined it, which in my opinion is a great shame”, explains the director general of the European Payment Initiative (EPI) Martina Weimert. The company, of which the 13 banks still on board are shareholders, is refocusing on instant payment technology, which allows transfers to be made in a few seconds, and a “digital wallet”.

The project ” retains all its raison d'être”

On March 11, EPI had just indicated on its website that it was “now adapting its scope and objectives” around “instant payments”, without specifying the details. Among the reasons put forward, the recent defections of the German DZ Bank and the Spanish Caixa, with significant market shares in their two countries. “The resizing of the PPE project is sad news for the European Union,” reacted Pierre-Edouard Batard, managing director of the National Confederation of Crédit Mutuel, to AFP. “Europe urgently needs to regain all of its sovereignty in the field of payments, we see this intensely in this period of strong geopolitical tensions”, he continued. The project “keeps all its raison d'être”, says one within another French bank.

Announced in the summer of 2020, the European card scheme aimed to create a new unified pan-European payment solution, based on instant transaction technology, in particular to offer an alternative to industry giants such as Visa and MasterCard. Of the 22 banks present at its creation at the end of November 2021, only 13 are still on board, specifies the EPI on its site. Among them, six French -Crédit Mutuel, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, La Banque Postale, BPCE, Société Générale- but also the Wordline payment player and six foreign banks including the Spanish Santander, the German Deutsche Bank and the Dutch ENG. EPI should return at the end of April with more details on its new scope.