Members of the European Payments Initiative (EPI), a project launched with the help of 22 banks, said today that a pan-European payment network can be in place by 2025, making the continent “master of its own destiny.”
The 22 banks, which include names such as Deutsche Bank, UniCredit and ING, are shareholders in the EPI and have until December to commit to implementing the network over the next three years.
Policymakers at the European Union and European Central Bank have long wanted a payments network that they could regulate directly.
Martina Weimert, CEO of the EPI, said: “We can bring choice to consumers but also to merchants in the future. This will give us and the whole European economy more sovereignty, more independence, becoming masters of our own destiny.”
Weimert acknowledged at an online event that it would be normal for the EPI to take time to build up trust with consumers, just as PayPal and Apple Pay did.
“We think that we can nevertheless have a very nice market positioning at the European scale because of the size of the European market, and 50% of all transactions in the euro as still cash transactions. I am not saying we want to have cash disappearing but at least reducing part of it,” Weimert concluded.