Europe’s planned rival to Visa and Mastercard appeals for public funding

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LONDON, Nov 16 (Businesshala) – A planned pan-European payments network backed by 22 banks to compete with US duos MasterCard and Visa on Tuesday appealed for public funding, saying its private backers were trying to stump up all the cash needed. were not ready for

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The European Payments Initiative (EPI) was launched last year and is seeking to bring more banks and other players into payments by December to finalize plans to launch its instant and card payments network.

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“Public funding would be good,” EPI chief executive Martina Weimert said at an event organized by the Association of European Payment Institutions. “Let’s not hide it – it’s going to be a huge investment. It’s expensive.”

Retailers say they are unwilling to pay for it, while banks and other EPI shareholders “can only take so much”, Weimert said, without giving details on the investment required.

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Deutsche Bank, Unicredit, BNP Paribas, ING, Societe Generale and Sabadell are among 22 banks in seven EU countries including France, Germany and Spain that are supporting the venture.

The EU has been keen to gain strategic autonomy in financial services, such as by reducing reliance on US MasterCard and Visa for cross-border card payments. It is not clear whether this will extend to financial support for EPIs.

Weimert said the EPI was now in a “critical stage” of decision-making over the next few weeks.

It will create a new system and replace a plethora of national systems to reduce fragmentation and overlap in large-scale payments, she said, aiming to introduce peer-to-peer transactions on an instant payments basis in 2022. , then e-commerce.

“It’s a big shift so it’s going to take time. Anyone who tells you it’s an easy call and let’s do it quick and dirty, well, it’s not really looking to change the European ecosystem, Weimert said. (Reporting by Hugh Jones; Editing by Amelia Sithole-Mataris)

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