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  • Thierry Spanjaard

EPI on the path to reality

Money20/20 has become the best place to get an update about major projects in the industry. A few weeks ago, many of us read the announcement EPI (European Payments Initiative) had acquired iDEAL payment solution and Payconiq International, a payment solutions provider. Today, at Money20/20, Martina Weimert, CEO of the EPI Company, and Daniel van Delft, CEO of Currence, the company owning the iDEAL brand name, were on stage to provide additional information about the announcement.

While EPI has already had to lower its ambitions and adjust its positioning, it seems now that EPI projects are maturing and getting more concrete. Martina Weimert reaffirmed EPI positioning as a payment means, building on instant payment regulations. Their goal is to make instant payments the preferred means for eCommerce, and other forms of payment.

At the same time, iDEAL is already the leading payment form in the Netherlands. The company has tried for years to expand beyond its borders and its acquisition by EPI is the best potential outcome in this regard. In the Netherlands, iDEAL is an online payment method, a routing entity and a processor for all iDEAL transactions.

EPI keeps its European ambitions and is now in a position to announce its plans. To adapt to local specificities, EPI payment will be available through integration with existing mobile banking apps of the participating financial institutions and also as a standalone app. According to Martina Weimert, P2P transactions will be available from Q1/2024, and P2Pro – payment to professionals – will come shortly after. Then, in Q4/2024, eCommerce and mCommerce payments will be available in EPI, and in 2025, transactions on POS will come and complete the picture.

At a time of overabundance of European projects, the Digital Euro came into the picture. EPI’s answer is that they will collaborate with all regulation bodies: ECB, the European Commission, national central banks, etc. And even if the European Digital Wallet and the Digital Euro come into existence, it will be necessary to integrate all payment means to being a good level of service to the European consumer. Consequently, EPI will have to include payments in digital Euros.

Currence is a bit torn between two goals: they have to make sure iDEAL customers will continue to be able to operate as usual, and they are now part of the EPI projects. Seemingly, Currence wants to keep both aspects very separate and only migrate its iDEAL customers to EPI when all the building bricks will be present.

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