On March 22, 2021, the European Council adopted conclusions on the retail payments strategy for the EU presented by the European Commission in efforts to develop the retail payments market in the EU; and “make it easier for consumers to pay in shops, and to make e-commerce transactions widely available, convenient and safe across the EU”. Improving instant payments and innovation in retail payments, as well as creating EU-wide payment solutions to decrease outside dependency are key objectives the Council hopes to address.
The Council conclusions on the Commission Communication on a ‘Retail Payments Strategy for the European Union’, details priorities under four ‘pillars’ for strategic action:
- addressing issues related to increasingly digital and instant payment solutions
- innovation and competitiveness issues
- ensuring access to and interoperability of retail payment systems and other support infrastructures
- improving payments with countries outside the EU
The Council also acknowledged challenges to addressing market regulation and development as it pertains to financial inclusion, security and consumer protection, data protection and anti‑money laundering aspects.
More information on the Council's adopted conclusions on retail payments strategy can be found here.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on a Retail Payments Strategy for the EU, can be found here.