Here’s what Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit and Bnp will do against Visa, Mastercard and beyond

Here's what Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit and Bnp will do against Visa, Mastercard and beyond

The European Payments Initiative, the pan-European payment system that will compete with Visa and Mastercard, should be presented on July 2nd. The moves of 16 European banks including Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit, Bnp Paribas and Deutsche Bank

Twenty European banks, including Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit, Bnp Paribas and Deutsche Bank have worked in recent months to create a pan-European payment circuit that should compete with Visa, MasterCard and beyond. The system is expected to be unveiled, according to Les Echos' rumors, by the end of this week.

All the details.


According to the French newspaper Les Echos , the European Payments Initiative ( ex Pepsi – Pan European Payment System Initiative) should be presented to institutions and citizens on Thursday 2 July, according to the French newspaper Les Echos , which citing what was said by a representative of the European Central Bank to France Payments Forum in March, talks about "alignment of the planets". Financially speaking, of course.


The project involves banks in the euro area, i.e. in Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, but the names of the banks seem to want to keep the utmost confidentiality until the end.

What is certain is that the promoters of the initiative are Bnp Paribas and Deutsche Bank and that Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit are involved in Italy.


If the names of the other 16 banks remain unknown, those who will suffer (or at least should suffer) competition from EPI are well known. In addition to Visa and MasterCard, giants of the payment sector, the European circuit is an alternative, in fact, also to Chinese platforms such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, Paypal and the American Google.


Competing with Visa, Mastercard and company will certainly not be easy. “This project will require a lot of technological investments but also of communication. It will be necessary to introduce the new brand to consumers and make it familiar as Visa or MasterCard, " commented a banker to the French press.

"Our pride would be to demonstrate that public and private decision makers have been able to undo their differences and find a common solution to create a European" scheme "," he added.


There will be three fundamental services that will guarantee the new technology: instant transfers, electronic wallet and sending and receiving payments by message.


The project should receive the support of the Central Bank Europe, which has always been in favor of the project. The ECB “is ready to provide technical assistance to the project which must remain private and open to other operators in compliance with the Union antitrust rules. In the meantime, Frankfurt will continue to monitor the impact of the evolution of payment systems on the transmission of monetary policies of central banks, " said ECB board member Benoit Coeurè in December 2019.


The presentation of the circuit happens, casually, points out Les Echos , in the midst of the Wirecard scandal , the German fintech that announced a hole of 1.9 billion euros. All this "gives greater credibility to a pan-European project carried out by the banks that historically ensured the entire chain of payments, before leaving entire sectors of the business to new players," writes the financial newspaper.


The European Payments Initiative has a precedent, which has never been successful. The banks of the Union already in 2011 had thought of creating an alternative payment system to the US giants: the project was called Monnet and had encountered political obstacles in its path.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:25:20 +0000.