PYMNTS reported earlier this week on the European Commission’s alleged plans – uncovered by leaked documents – to accelerate cross-border payments and commerce innovation across the EU in a plan involving a probe into the role of eCommerce sites in cross-border commerce.
On Wednesday (May 6), the Commission publicly confirmed that it is taking actions to ease cross-border payment friction across the EU. Reports said that the regulator agreed Tuesday (May 5) to revise existing payment rules and to forge connections within the currently fragmented payment process across borders.
Reports said the European Parliament and member states agreed to the revisions on Tuesday.
Separately, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager officially revealed plans to launch an investigation into the major players of European cross-border digital commerce, largely dominated by foreign companies like Amazon.
In its Digital Single Market Strategy, also published Wednesday, the watchdog highlighted several existing barriers to conducting cross-border commerce across the EU. A Q&A memo accompanying the plans revealed that while consumers will largely benefit from a streamlined, pan-EU eCommerce market, SMEs also stand to gain significantly from the initiative.
Among the benefits, the Commission said, are clearer regulatory guidelines for cross-border sales, a lessened financial burden of cross-border growth, lower delivery prices, and broader access to the public e-procurement market. At present, only about 7 percent of SMEs do cross-border business, authorities said.
Further, the Commission is touting other advantages of a single digital market, including greater use of Big Data and the cloud.
The Commission’s announcement Wednesday did not mention potential implications for the regulator’s earlier remarks, published in a green paper, about the benefits of cross-border crowdfunding to increase SMEs’ access to working capital and investors.