As the European Commission acknowledges in its September 2021 paper ‘Instant Payments, Current and Foreseeable benefits’, the combination of Open Banking and instant payments will strongly impact European retail payments and will be a key success factor for increasing digitisation of the European economy. These standardised interfaces add safety, real-time connectivity and seamless interaction between the different entities involved.
OFAE strongly believes that Open Banking and Open Finance will only succeed if they are underpinned by full coverage of SEPA Instant amongst EU payment service providers.
Additionally, OFAE agrees with the European Central Bank’s September 2021 set of recommendations, which states that “PSPs should therefore work on lowering the direct cost of instant payments. […] where cash or cards are possible alternatives (with no direct fee on transactions from the consumer’s perspective), any transaction fees for consumers can seriously diminish the competitiveness of instant payments”.
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.