ECB calls for Europe-wide mobile payments

James Pearce
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P2P mobile payment will be launched across the EU by the end of 2017, Central Bank claims

Europe will introduce peer-to-peer mobile payments using a mobile phone number by the end of the year, according to the European Central Bank.

The ECB has unveiled plans to launch a standardised service across countries using the Euro allowing the mobile number of a payee to act as proxy for their international bank account number by the end of 2017.

The ECB announced the plans, which it is calling Eurosystem, at a press conference organised by the Bank of France.

ECB’s executive board member Yves Mersch  said: “Aligned with the timeline for the implementation of the instant payment scheme, the Eurosystem expects the launch of a standardised look-up service that allows (person-to-person) mobile payments using the mobile phone number of the payee as a proxy for the IBAN [International Bank Account Number]. This service should be launched by the end of 2017 and should not be restricted to national IBANs.”

Under the proposed system, P2P payments would be possible no matter what country the person’s bank account is in, so long as it is based within the EU.

The bank has now tasked payment service providers to submit proposals for payment solutions by November. It has also launched a public consultation into the proposals.

“Europe must not fall behind countries like the United Kingdom, for example [which established an instant payments system in 2008]. With this integrated payments market, it will even be ahead of the United States,” said Mersch.