Will card schemes suffer from instant payments?
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Will card schemes suffer from instant payments?

Banks and regulators are keen to use instant payments to reduce the influence of Visa and Mastercard on the European payments industry – but replacing these two dominant players will be far from easy.

Photo: Reuters

Decreasing Europe’s reliance on foreign payment schemes has been a key objective of regional legislators for some time. Indeed, the sovereignty of Europe’s payment systems – namely its reliance on international card schemes and a small number of non-European payment solutions and technologies – is one of the core issues in the European Central Bank’s retail payment strategy.

“A solution lies in combining instant payments with open banking to deliver a home-grown, pan-European payment method that poses a genuine threat to the card schemes,” says Todd Clyde, chief executive of Token.io. “The EU’s Instant Payments Regulation will be a vital driving force.”

Challenging dominance

A recent survey of 200 senior payment professionals at European banks published by payments modernization specialist RedCompass Labs saw more than two-thirds (69%) of respondents predict a rapid uplift in the use of instant payments as an e-commerce or point-of-sales payment method by the end of next year.

“Combining instant payments with open banking will provide consumers with a better user experience than traditional bank transfers alone, driving adoption and challenging the dominance of Visa and Mastercard,” predicts Angela Hull, vice-president of global payments partnerships at Ppro.

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