B2B Payments

EU Parliament Eyes New Rules On Cross-Border Payment Fees

This week, the EU Parliament voted for new rules mandating that banks cut fees on cross-border euro payments for countries within and outside the Eurozone. As reported by parliament, the body voted by 532 in favor and 22 against (with 55 abstentions) to set the new cross-border rules in place by the end of the year.

The rules state that each transaction should disclose the amounts that are being paid in local currencies, as well as the currencies of the destination accounts. Details are to be sent, free of charge, via push notifications across email or text message to mobile or web-banking applications. Full costs of currency conversion must also be disclosed before the transaction.

Eva Maydell, a parliament member from Bulgaria, said in a statement that “150 million EU citizens and 6 million businesses living and operating in countries outside the Eurozone have been paying much higher charges for transferring euro than their Eurozone counterparts. This will no longer be the case, and all Europeans will pay significantly lower charges, which will save them more than 1 billion euros annually.”

Separately, in terms of individual company news, and also in Europe, EastNets and Bankingblocks said they have teamed up to present modular “banking blocks” aimed at faster cross-border payments.

The companies noted that the blocks are focused on SWIFT and SEPA payments, using EastNets’ PaymentSafe and SafeWatch Filtering solutions, which will make such payments compliant with anti-money laundering (AML) mandates. As has been reported, the European Payments Council said in November that it had launched a new SEPA instant payment scheme across P2P and B2B payments, among other offerings, settling transactions within seconds among participating countries.

Faster Payments In Asia

In news beyond the European continent, Pan Asia Bank said it has partnered with TerraPay, an international remittance service, which will focus on cross-border instant money transfers across Sri Lanka. Under the terms of the joint efforts, Sri Lankan migrants located across the globe will be able to send money through TerraPay’s partner network via websites and apps, with payments made into bank accounts.

Aniruddha Sane, chief business officer of TerraPay, stated, “TerraPay enables more than 1.5 billion bank accounts and [200 million-plus] mobile money wallets in over 50 countries to receive real-time, cross-border money transfers. Our target is to double these figures by 2020, and Asia will be at the forefront of this growth.”

In Canada, Payments Canada said on Wednesday (Feb. 20) that it has selected SIA as the application provider of the country’s high-value payments system known as Lynx. The announcement said that SIA will work closely with Payments Canada and key industry stakeholders on the next version of its Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) application solution.

As noted in FinTech Futures, SIA provides payments across countries including Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and the firm’s RTGS systems are developed by its wholly-owned subsidiary Perago. The site noted that Lynx will replace Canada’s current Large Value Transfer System, and will be based on the global ISO 20022 messaging standard.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.