OFAE believes that consumers of financial services — both businesses and individuals — should have more choice in how to pay for goods and services, transfer money and use financial data.

Digitisation continues to fundamentally transform economies around the world, including       financial and payments markets. OFAE believes that consumers of financial services need further promotion and enablement of data and data-driven products and services to fully realise the benefits of this digitisation. This includes banks and financial service providers recognising the value of providing interfaces that are aligned with relevant regulations or initiatives.

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the shift away from cash to electronic payment methods and the shift from in-store shopping to e-commerce. PSD2 has successfully promoted a growing number of alternative payment providers, particularly payment initiation service providers and their services designed for the digital age. We believe there is an important opportunity for these providers to serve the growing demands of e-commerce businesses. 

However, alternative payment providers are heavily reliant on the efficiency of the underlying payment infrastructure. 

As such, OFAE believes that instant payments must be ubiquitous, with all payment accounts being able to both send and receive instant payments. 

In addition, OFAE believes that the current high cost of instant payments to consumers is restricting adoption and must be addressed. OFAE believes that payment services provided within an Open Finance framework will only be competitive and feasible if SEPA Instant payments are free for consumers.