Mobile payments providers team up to let customers make QR payments across Europe

Logos of 7 European Mobile Payment Systems Association (EMPSA) members
EMPSA members: goal is to make mobile payments systems interoperable across nine counties

A group of seven mobile payments service providers with a combined user base of 25 million people in nine European countries have formed a new association to deliver “interoperability of the mobile payment systems across national borders”.

The European Mobile Payment Systems Association (EMPSA) is based in Zurich and chaired by Søren Mose, chairman of the board at Swiss mobile payments provider Twint.

In addition to Twint, the association’s members include Bancontact Payconiq (Belgium), Bluecode (Germany and Austria), MobilePay (Finland and Denmark), SIBS/MB Way (Portugal), Swish (Sweden) and Vipps (Norway).

“Altogether, the seven companies have around 25 million registered users, over one million acceptance points and there are some 350 banks that support the systems,” Twint says.

“In the medium term, the association intends to make it possible for users to use all of the individual systems in each of the member countries,” the Swiss mobile payments service adds.

“EMPSA has already set up a working group to review the technical issues surrounding interoperability.”

The working group is co-chaired by Bjørn Skjelbred from Vipps and Christian Pirkner of Bluecode.

“The seven existing members of EMPSA all have similar setups and will expectedly use the QR code to create technical compatibility,” MobilePay adds.

“Focus [in] the first year will be on delivering pilot cases on users paying across EMPSA countries.”

“The rapid growth in mobile payments will lead to an increasing user demand of being able to pay everywhere in Europe with your mobile payment solution, leaving cards and physical wallets behind,” says MobilePay CEO Mark Wraa-Hansen.

“EMPSA can be vital in achieving interoperability within a short timeframe.”