International

Seven EU Firms Form X-Border Mobile Payment Network

mobile payment card reader

Seven European payments operators — most of them owned by banks — that own and operate mobile payments services said Tuesday (Sept. 3) that they are in the midst of building a pan-European network focused on cross-border mobile payments.

As reported by Bloomberg Tuesday, the European Mobile Payment System Association initiative comes as banks and traditional financial services players continue to battle FinTechs and Big Tech for share of mind and share of wallet across the payments landscape.

The roster of seven firms and payments networks includes Danske Bank A/S’s MobilePay, which operates in Denmark and Finland; Belgium’s Banccontact Payconiq; Bluecode, which operates in Germany and Austria; Norway’s VIPPS; Switzerland’s TWINT; Portugal’s SIBS and Sweden’s Swish.

The joint efforts will focus on cross-border contactless payments, and will cover roughly 25 million users through the European Mobile Payment System Association.

MobilePay CEO Mark Wraa-Hansen said the European Mobile Payment System Association also spans 1 million acceptance points and more than 350 partner banks. The executive said the association will also let users transact seamlessly across the aforementioned networks, transacting across Germany, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland and a number  of Nordic countries.

“The rapid growth in mobile payments will lead to an increasing user demand of being able to pay everywhere in Europe with your mobile payment solution, leaving cards and physical wallets behind,” Wraa-Hansen said in a statement. “We will see more mobile payment systems joining in the time to come.”

The European Mobile Payment System Association is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and has yet to be in dialogue with the European Commission, according to reports.

Efforts to promote interoperability have gathered some traction on the Continent. In one recent report, in June, mobile wallet players across Europe and Alipay, the Chinese digital payment player, announced early that month that they were teaming up to promote QR code payment interoperability. As has been reported, Bluecode, ePassi, Momo Pocket, Pagaqui, Pivo, Vipps and Alipay said they will adopt a unified QR code, which will enable payment interoperability for travelers in Europe and from China. Users of the six European digital wallets will be able to make QR code payments with their apps at local merchants in 10 European countries where the apps are accepted.

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