European Payment


equensWorldline SE, a subsidiary of Worldline [Euronext: WLN] and European leader in the payments and transactional services industry, has successfully launched the SEPA Proxy Lookup (SPL) service.

This new service creates secure interoperability between existing mobile person-to-person (P2P) payment services. The SPL service is ready to be used, and the first provider has already integrated the service into its mobile payment solution.

The intelligent SPL service is based on the SPL scheme managed by the European Payments Council (EPC). equensWorldline was selected as the preferred SPL service provider by the Mobile Proxy Forum, a working group initiated at the request of the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), to achieve pan-European interoperability for P2P mobile solutions’.

Cross-border payments

End users are increasingly using P2P payment services to transfer money from their bank or credit card accounts to another individual account via mobile. However, these services are mainly focusing on domestic markets; payers and payees from countries outside of these markets are generally not connected to the same P2P payment service. To facilitate cross-border or cross-community P2P payments, a manual exchange of payment information, such as IBAN, is currently required. This manual exchange makes the payment process inconvenient, error-prone and fragile.

The new equensWorldline SPL service replaces the need for manual exchange of payment information. It connects the lookup services available in different markets to facilitate the use of the beneficiary’s mobile phone number in order to retrieve the correct IBAN. The SPL service is an intelligent routing network among connected P2P payment providers and forgoes the creation of an additional central IBAN database.

Convenient user experience

The great advantage of the SPL service is the comfortable user experience, as there is no need to manually exchange IBANs. This makes equensWorldline’s service a convenient, safe and accurate way to transfer payment information. Payment providers will become more efficient in their processing, as the risk of end users entering incorrect IBANs is eliminated. In addition, the service has been designed to allow future extensions, like the support of additional aliases such as e-mail addresses, the support of merchant payments (B2C), and the introduction of value-added services such as the transfer of e-receipts in the case of consumer purchases.

Pan-European payment ecosystem

Michael Steinbach, CEO of equensWorldline, sees the SPL service as an important component in the development of a pan-European payment ecosystem. “Even with SEPA, we still see a fragmentation of the P2P payment solutions market in Europe. Each country has or is developing its own domestic solutions. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to create a user-friendly pan-European payment ecosystem, in which cross-border payments are just as smooth as domestic payments. By enhancing the user experience for mobile initiated credit transfers, the SPL service will play an important role in the success of the new Payment Initiation Services based on PSD2 and Instant Payment Services.”

According to Etienne Goosse, Director General of the EPC, harmonization, competition and innovation in Europe are the key to a pan-European ecosystem. “The goal of the EPC is the setup of an interoperability framework using the SPL service that allows P2P payment data to be securely exchanged on a pan-European level. We are happy that equensWorldline, as an experienced European provider of secure and efficient payment services, supports us in establishing this new pan-European proxy lookup scheme.”

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