Payment systems are the lubricant for our economy and society. Without a seamless and trusted flow of money, neither private consumption nor business would be possible. Over the last years, also accelerated by Covid-19, card and digital payments have gained ground – however, these are dominated by US-companies like Mastercard, VISA, Apple or Google. Even Facebook is looking into payments and has started Libra, now renamed to Diem, serving a wake-up call to many.
Confronted by these challenges both the private and public sector in Europe are looking how to strengthen its sovereignty over the retail payment space, and has started initiatives:
- The European Payment Initiative (EPI) is driven by the European banking community to develop a new scheme based on the rails of domestic card schemes and Instant Payments (SCT Inst).
- The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced to introduce a digital Euro. Other European central banks are also active on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) projects.
Seeing these two initiatives coming from different perspectives key questions are arising:
- Are EPI and digital Euro competitors, “eating from the same table”?
- Could there be a complementing view: how the two initiatives in combination strengthen European payments sovereignty?
- What will be the right way forward, where to invest for commercial banks?
This webinar will present the basic concepts behind EPI and CBDCs such as the digital euro, compare these and evaluate if these are conflicting or complementing initiatives.