The future of payments: What next for competition and innovation in payments?

Propelled by the move to cashless societies and fast-growing e-commerce, the payments industry is expected to grow from €715 billion in 2010 to €2.1 trillion in 2027. Individuals and businesses worldwide need to make and receive payments on a daily basis. The payment landscape is in a state of continuous development: from cash to electronic forms, to the rapid growth of contactless and the adoption of invisible payment solutions. Customers demand seamless end-to-end services and expect that payment systems achieve this, without sacrificing trust and stability.

The European Commission has, over the years, developed a comprehensive legislative payment framework aimed at keeping up with the rapid evolution of the sector while also preserving financial stability. The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and the Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR) aimed to contribute to a more competitive European payment ecosystem. The overarching objective was to create a level playing field between well-established companies and new players and to lay down clear rules to prevent anti-competitive practices in this rapidly evolving market.

Following PSD2 and the IFR, is the payment sector in Europe on the right path to achieve greater speed, better transparency and enhanced choice for European consumers? An inclusive debate that takes into account the perspective of different industry players and that recognises the potential of different business models and trends emerging in the sector will be key to unleashing the full potential of this market.

EURACTIV organised a high-level forum to discuss the future of payments and how to ensure a competitive and innovative payments market in the EU.

Questions included:

  • Have the European Commission’s objectives for PSD2 and the IFR been achieved?
  • What else remains to be done to create an even more competitive and innovative payment ecosystem in Europe?
  • How can we ensure that security and convenience go hand in hand in the world of digital payments?
  • What key trends are emerging which need to be taken into account in light of the upcoming revisions of the legislative framework?
  • What vision for the payment sector in Europe?


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