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Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments

 --- Posted by Gerd Heinen, DG MARKT, Retail financial services and consumer policy unit

Carrying a virtual train ticket or repaying a friend with your mobile phone, buying your groceries online, paying with your debit card abroad – the way European citizens shop and pay is radically changing.  A secure and transparent integrated payments environment throughout the EU could create more efficient, modern and safer means of payments – for the benefits of consumers, merchants and payment providers. Therefore, an integrated market for electronic payments is an important building block of the Commission's Digital Agenda, and the Digital Single Market in particular.

 Today, the Commission had adopted a Green Paper 'Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments' which assesses the current landscape of card, internet and mobile payments in Europe. The Green Paper identifies the gaps between the current situation and the vision of a fully integrated payments market and the barriers which have created these gaps. The objective of the Green Paper is to launch a broad-scale consultation process with stakeholders to validate or contribute to the Commission’s analysis and to help identify the right way to improve market integration.

 The main issues identified in the paper concern:

  • Market access and entry for existing and new service providers
  • Payment security and data protection
  • Transparent and efficient pricing of payment services
  • Technical standardisation
  • Inter-operability between service providers
 Responses to the Green Paper are welcome until 11 April 2012. On the basis of a thorough analysis of the consultation feedback, the Commission will announce next steps before the summer of 2012.