Does Europe’s Payments Strategy Add Up?

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Publication Date October 2023
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EU residents have an impressive range of ways to pay for goods and services at home – including with cash, cards, smartphones, direct debits, bank transfers and instant payment apps. Yet the EU institutions have spent years fretting that most of these services do not work seamlessly across borders. The main way residents pay for goods and services across the whole bloc remains American payment networks like Visa and Mastercard. There is still no EU-wide payments champion, despite the EU’s many efforts to foster one. To keep the dream of a ‘sovereign’ European payments champion alive, the European Commission has recently launched a barrage of proposals for new rules. But these different ideas lack an overarching vision. The EU’s strategy would work better if it worried less about sovereignty and thought more about what makes payment systems successful: fulfilling consumers’ needs.

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EPI : European Payments Initiative
European Commission: COM (2023) 369 : Proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of the digital euro

ESO Records
European Commission: COM (2021) 281 : Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 as regards establishing a framework for a European Digital Identity
European Commission: COM (2020) 592: Communication on a Retail Payments Strategy for the EU

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