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The future of instant payments: Are we investing billions just for mobile peer-to-peer payment?

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The implementation of instant payments in Europe will most likely take many years and will require significant investments, as well as years’ worth of management attention at banks and regulators that could otherwise be devoted to other topics, notably innovations beyond infrastructure. Mobile peer-topeer (P2P) payments are already enjoying some success, notably in the UK, Sweden, USA and Kenya. However, countless attempts at mobile payments by digital disruptors, banks, mobile operators and others all over the world have largely failed. This paper analyses why successes are so rare, why they have so far only happened outside the Eurozone, and whether a true underlying instant infrastructure is necessary for them at all. Finally, it maps a success for the future: how the emergence of the new pan-European instant payment infrastructure may catapult Europe to the forefront of new services. Comparisons are made between policy decisions in Europe versus other geographies and the consequences therefrom. This paper widens the debate beyond the current focus on infrastructure and simple P2P applications. It argues that the success will come from a plethora of applications rather than infrastructures. Thus, the paper welcomes the advent of a pan-European (and increasingly global) instant payment infrastructure and aims to show that its real value comes in its application.
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Keywords: ECB, ERPB, instant payments, P2P, M2M, mobile payments

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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  • Journal of Payments Strategy & Systems publishes peer-reviewed articles and case studies analysing best practice, emerging issues and new thinking in how to develop a profitable, customer-focused payments strategy. It examines major issues facing the corporate, wholesale and retail payments industry from a business, risk and operational perspective.

    Edited by renowned payments expert Alec Nacamuli and guided by an eminent Editorial Board, each quarterly 100-page issue provides practical, detailed analysis of developments and trends in the payments business, regulation, new entrants and technologies and how to bring them all together to define your payments strategy, as well as actionable advice and ‘lessons learned’ from fellow professionals on how payment processing systems can be leveraged to maximise profitability, security and efficiency and minimise risk. It contains no advertising and no advertorial.

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