Announced in July 2020, the European Payment Initiative (EPI) European payment service should allow its users to transfer money from account to account, free of charge and in seconds, anywhere in Europe. The EPI ultimately aims to compete with the international giants Visa and Mastercard.

According to Martina Weimert, Managing Director of EPI Company, for La Tribune: “This new service is aimed first and foremost at the consumer. It offers the possibility of transferring or receiving money instantly via a simple telephone number. telephone, with all the security of the banking environment.”

“We propose to adapt the instant payment, which was first designed to work from bank account to bank account, to make it usable in commerce in a large number of situations”, explains Martina Weimert.

After three years of negotiations, the PPE will therefore enter the test phase at the end of 2023 for individuals, in France and Germany. Using PPE services will be possible from the applications of partner banks or a dedicated application on a mobile phone.

The service “will be open in a second time to payments for professionals, then to online commerce and that without terminals”, adds the director general of the EPI (BFMTV). In-store payment will be available in 2025. In which countries and in which banks will PPE be available?

EPI services will be available in five countries: first in France and Germany, then in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. “All of these markets represent more than 60% of electronic transactions in Europe, it is a very good basis for development”, specifies Martina Weimert, general manager of EPI Company (BFMTV).

EPI brings together a total of 16 banks, including ING, ABN Amro and Rabobank (Netherlands) but also Deutsche Bank and DZ Bank (Germany) as well as Belfius (Belgium). In France, EPI relies on Crédit Mutuel, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, La Banque Postale, the BPCE group and Société Générale.

If PPE appears to be an interesting innovation for merchants or people traveling in Europe, the payment system also wants to revolutionize the use of the bank card. What will his alternative consist of?

Based on the PayLib model, the EPI wishes to free itself from the bank card and promote payment by mobile phone. The generalization of PPE would then make it possible to “pay your plumber or babysitter more easily, these professionals who are still hesitant to use the card, while being able to issue digital receipts”, explains Martina Weimert, general manager of EPI Company at The gallery.

“We have worked hard to offer commerce a real alternative to the bank card”. Its ambition: to compete with international payment systems such as Zelle, Apple Pay or PayPal. “These [payment systems] are experiencing very strong growth, because they are in tune with the times when the telephone is becoming the preferred mode for interacting with its environment.”

“EPI will then be an alternative to the card that the European Commission and the European Central Bank are also calling for. But this development will be slow and the card will remain for a long time as an important means of payment”, concludes the director general of ‘EPI Company.