The European Council has endorsed plans to introduce a fully integrated retail payment system that will enable instant cross-border payments and financial transfers throughout the European Union.
The plans were presented to the European Council in September 2020 by the European Commission as part of a strategy to “make it easier for consumers to pay in shops and to make ecommerce transactions widely available, convenient and safe across the EU”.
“The Council lends its full support to the overall aims of the strategy, such as ensuring a competitive and innovative retail payments market in the EU, promoting the uptake of instant payments, and creating the conditions for the development of EU-wide payment solutions to decrease the EU’s dependency on major global players in this area,” the European Council says.
“The Council also highlights the many challenges to be taken into account when further developing and regulating the market, such as financial inclusion, security and consumer protection, data protection and anti-money laundering aspects.”
The EC originally unveiled its proposals for an integrated EU payments system in February 2020.