noun_Email_707352 noun_917542_cc Map point Play Untitled Retweet Group 3 Fill 1

Do you have what it takes to be an EPI front-runner?

It’s time to plan your EPI strategy: Identify the gaps and explore the possibilities

Edgars Bremze / April 08, 2021

With the European Payments Initiative (EPI) working to standardize payments throughout Europe, we look at what impact this EU initiative might have on retail payments in the EU and globally, as well as how you can best prepare to take advantage of it.

The need for standardization

The EU made it clear that it was going to push for a standardized payment scheme to open up the market for consumers and businesses – as it’s currently dominated by large, mainly non-European actors. As a result, 16 major banks from Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, launched an initiative to deliver this. The key drivers for EPI include:

  • Lowering and standardizing transaction costs, no longer having to rely on the infrastructure of international card schemes
  • Supporting local controls by maintaining the independence of national payment systems – additional charges from international card schemes will be removed from local, low-cost products such as cards for the unbanked, state compensations and benefits.
  • Promoting open banking, with a standardized, independent payment platform it will be much easier to develop and utilize new technologies.

EPI-ready platform
Of course, this won’t happen automatically with the launch of EPI. It will be up to individual banks to define their market and card scheme strategies – and this is just one area where we can help you. Our experience in cards, payments, and open banking – the same areas covered in EPI – may also be a big help.

Key considerations

Assuming EPI is launched as planned in 2022, we anticipate the marketplace will be impacted by several key considerations. These include:

  • European open standard – with the right platform to support this it will be much easier for actors to integrate their system and take full advantage of the new marketplace.
  • ISO standards – the new ISO 20022 is much more data-rich and flexible than previous standards. The mix of traditional cards and ISO 20022 will facilitate new exciting product development around payments solutions.
  • New integration opportunities – cards with instant payments will open up the market. For instance, it will be possible to connect with different protocols at point-of-sale, however, this may require infrastructure investments.

It’s time for your EPI Roadmap

With open banking growing throughout Europe, we firmly believe that you should now be developing your roadmap for managing the upcoming changes and opportunities. The legislation is already in place that supports the implementation of new technologies for smoother and faster integrations. If we look back at mobile phone payments it took users time to start using these services, so banks could afford to take their time with rollouts. This will not necessarily be repeated today with newer forms of payment – customer adoption is much faster than it used to be.

In fact, you could argue that the user experience already exists in many countries – EPI will just trigger a broader expansion of these experiences by integrating Europe and SEPA payment services.

Getting started

Start planning by mapping out what services will remain on old rails and what should be thought about in terms of new payment models. Review your services, look for the gaps that must be filled to fully utilize EPI. Don’t just look at your retail payment system in isolation from payments or APIs, think of them as a greater entity. Don’t forget, your customers will want a connected, fulfilling user experience.

And finally…

Look for an experienced partner that can help you navigate towards a cloud-ready system, that operates with open APIs, supports both ISO20022 and ISO8583 rails, and delivers customer-centric solutions.

At TietoEVRY we help our customers build local card schemes and integrate them with international card schemes; implement national payment solutions on ISO20022 instant payment rails; provide SEPA and SEPA Instant connectivity for Nordic banks; and provide open API aggregation and PSD2 compliancy for EU banks. If these meet some of the requirements you have, we will be more than happy to discuss how we can help you.


Edgars Bremze
Lead strategic product manager, Payments

Edgars Bremze the strategic offering manager for Payments in Tietoevry and has more than 20 years of professional experience in the payments industry.

Share on Facebook Tweet Share on LinkedIn