ECB: Insights into the digital transformation of the retail payments ecosystem
“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”
The above quote by Oscar Wilde resonated throughout the conference that the European Central Bank and the Banca d’Italia hosted on 30 November and 1 December 2017 in Rome. Entitled “Digital transformation of the retail payments ecosystem”, this conference looked in detail at the dynamic developments that are currently being observed in the retail payments industry on account of new technologies and changes in consumer demand.
This event brought together nearly 300 participants from 53 countries around the world and featured policy discussions on issues such as innovation, interoperability and the integration of retail payments, as well as cybersecurity in the financial ecosystem. The speakers at this conference included the authors of eight academic papers on virtual currencies, the adoption of instant payments and customer behaviour, who presented their findings to participants.
This article seeks to provide an overview of the key messages conveyed by the event’s various high level guest speakers, who hailed from both the financial industry and academia.
An introduction to the subject of innovation
The conference was opened by Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Banca d’Italia, and Yves Mersch, a member of the Executive Board of the ECB, both of whom emphasised that an appropriate legislative framework and cooperation between all stakeholders was key to supporting innovation and ensuring the security of the retail payments ecosystem.
In his welcome address, Mr Visco described the retail payments landscape as “highly dynamic” and “ever-evolving”. He warned that the rapid digital transformation being observed in the industry posed a number of challenges to central banks, one of which was the need to adapt the regulatory framework in order to support innovation. He argued that, in the European context, the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) would pave a stable path towards further innovation. Another challenge concerned the oversight of payment systems and payment instruments that were based on new technologies. Central banks needed to be at the forefront of innovation in order to be able to assess vulnerabilities and ensure cybersecurity in the financial ecosystem, he said.
Drawing on the ECB’s experience with the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), Mr Mersch pointed out that another key ingredient when rolling out payment innovations was stakeholder involvement. He cited the example of the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), which had brought together stakeholders from both the supply and the demand side of the market and had been instrumental in the emergence of pan-European instant payments in euro. Mr Mersch urged banks to implement instant payments in order to remain competitive in a real-time digital world. He also shared his conviction that pan-European instant payments would “provide an alternative narrative to the ongoing public debate on the alleged innovation brought about by virtual currency schemes”, which he said were “not robust enough from a legal, operational and governance point of view” to formally qualify as currencies.
How is digital evolution affecting the retail payments ecosystem?
A panel discussion brought together high-level representatives of central banks on four different continents, who offered valuable insights into the latest global developments in terms of digital evolution. They identified four areas where digitalisation was having an impact on the retail payments ecosystem:
- new players and new technologies entering the market;
the dilution of the various steps involved in the processing of payment transactions;
- increasing demand for universal payment instruments that offer the same speed, efficiency and cost both domestically and globally;
- new risks for infrastructure and settlement assets as a result of new technologies.
What role should central banks play in retail payments innovation?
The panel agreed that the impact of innovative technologies and new market entrants on the retail payments industry was twofold. These new developments could help to increase the security and efficiency of retail payments, but they could also result in financial markets fragmenting again and conflict with central banks’ financial stability objectives.
In this context, the panel argued that central banks should seek to engage the industry in a constructive discussion and adjust the regulatory framework in line with the new digital environment. As regards the development of a cashless economy, panellists said that central banks should promote freedom of choice and allow the market and users to decide whether they preferred cash or electronic payments. In addition, it was felt that central bank-backed digital currencies had not yet been sufficiently explored and could potentially contribute to the emergence of a cashless economy in the future.
How can incumbent banks embrace innovation?
Chris Skinner, a fintech commentator and author, predicted that the banking industry would change dramatically in the next ten years, mirroring the technological transformations that had been observed in a number of other sectors, such as retail and medicine. In this context, incumbent banks would face huge challenges when it came to updating their legacy systems. The digitalisation of back offices had the potential to make millions of jobs redundant and needed to go hand in hand with changes in corporate culture and structure, he said.
Could fintech be the answer? Across the financial industry, many people believe that fintech innovations such as distributed ledger technology (DLT) and artificial intelligence could prove effective in modernising legacy systems and optimising the internal procedures of financial institutions. Others go even further, suggesting that – if widely adopted – these innovations could transform the financial ecosystem as a whole. From today’s perspective, it is hard to predict what the future holds, as most of the current DLT-based solutions are not suitable for broad-based application in the financial industry, being restricted to specific niches.
José María Roldán, Chairman and CEO of the Spanish Banking Association and Vice-President of the European Banking Federation, shared his belief that fintech presents both challenges and opportunities for incumbent banks, explaining that it increases competition, but also allows costs to be reduced and can lead to greater returns on equity. He also emphasised that the banking sector contributed to financial stability and that the rise of fintech companies would not threaten its existence. However, he encouraged banks to gain a better understanding of these new technological developments, to be aware of their own vulnerabilities and to use the information at their disposal to improve the user-friendliness of their services.
A panel looking at the disruptive potential of fintech innovations acknowledged that the nature of competition in the retail payments industry was changing. In order to keep up with fintech innovations, established market players needed to adjust their infrastructure and business models in line with the new environment. Incumbents needed to increase investment in new technologies and cooperate with fintech companies, panellists said.
Instant payments – adoption and interoperability
One of the event’s panellists argued that payments should be “simple, safe and smart”, and the new SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme is designed to be just that. That new scheme allows funds to be transferred in euro in a matter of seconds, both within and between countries, and gives banks and other payment service providers an opportunity to embrace innovation.
With the “old continent” taking a big step towards pan-European instant payments, a recent comparative study by Monika Hartmann, Lola Hernández, Mirjam Plooij and Quentin Vandeweyer from the ECB asked whether instant payments would become the new normal. That study looked at six countries – both in Europe and elsewhere – where instant payments had been introduced in recent years and identified seven factors which had contributed to their uptake:
- active involvement of relevant authorities;
- cooperation between payment service providers;
- added value in terms of speed relative to legacy systems;
- good pricing conditions;
- presence of complementary services;
- widespread use of internet and mobile data;
- igh levels of internet banking.
On the basis of those drivers, the paper concluded that the euro area was in a good position to support instant payments and analysed four different scenarios as regards their adoption.
Looking at the bigger picture, instant payments are becoming increasingly common around the world, and the financial industry now faces the challenge of ensuring international interoperability. Against this background, a panel featuring representatives of three different continents – North America, Asia and Europe – talked about how to overcome this interoperability challenge. Those panellists identified the lack of standardised and harmonised message formats as a major issue, pointing out that this could be solved by aligning legal frameworks and adopting international standards such as BIC/IBAN and ISO 20022. They also recommended increasing international cooperation between regulators, banks and market infrastructures in order to address the inefficiencies of international payments while ensuring privacy and data protection.
The subject of virtual currencies – one of the hot topics in the financial industry at the moment – was also addressed, being raised in Mr Mersch’s opening speech and elaborated on in three of the academic papers presented at the event.
In the first of those papers, Christopher S. Henry, Kim P. Huynh and Gradon Nicholls from the Bank of Canada looked at awareness and use of Bitcoin among Canadian citizens. Their empirical study showed that around 64% of Canadians had heard of Bitcoin, but only 2.9% owned it.
Nicole Jonker from De Nederlandsche Bank adopted a different perspective, trying to identify what drives retailers’ adoption of virtual currencies by talking to 43 retailers in the Netherlands. The main reasons for accepting such currencies included a desire to attract extra customers (reported by 42% of retailers that accepted crypto-currencies), a desire to meet specific customer demands (23%) and an interest in new technologies (21%). The main reasons for not accepting them included a lack of familiarity with virtual currencies (58%) and a lack of customer demand (36%).
In her paper, Ruth Wandhöfer from Cass Business School looked at the possibility of introducing a central bank-backed crypto-currency to complement physical banknotes and coins. She examined possible scenarios for the adoption of “euro crypto-cash” and made suggestions regarding its design.
In this context, Professor Silvio Micali from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory presented a new DLT-based crypto-currency – called “algorand” – which he had developed on the basis of a Byzantine consensus algorithm. Professor Micali felt that this solution boasted real technical advantages in the form of trivial computation and true decentralisation, but its limited speed was considered to be a drawback.
Customer choice and behaviour
The retail payments industry is just one of many sectors where customer behaviour has been shaped by mass access to the internet and mobile phones in recent years. Changes in consumer demand have triggered various new developments, such as user-friendly mobile applications allowing the initiation of payments and innovative customer identification methods.
Two of the academic papers that were presented at this conference looked at customer preferences in different countries as regards payment instruments.
Jan Lukas Korella from the Deutsche Bundesbank compared retail payment behaviour in China and Germany. His study found that banks played an important role in the German payment landscape, as consumers’ preferred payment method at the point of sale was cash (51.3%), followed by card-based payments (45.6%). In China, meanwhile, there was a significant difference between metropolitan and rural areas when it came to preferred payment methods: 56.1% of customers in Chinese megacities used non-bank mobile payments and only 21.5% relied on cash at the point of sale, while cash was still the dominant payment method in rural areas.
Another paper by Tamás Ilyés and Lóránt Varga from the Magyar Nemzeti Bank analysed all payment transactions in Hungary in order to identify the main drivers of card acceptance and usage in the country. Their paper concluded that shops with higher levels of annual revenue were more likely to accept card payments and that customers were more likely to pay by card when the value of the transaction was higher.
With PSD2 requiring payment service providers to apply strong customer authentication methods for remote electronic payments, Guerino Ardizzi from the Banca d’Italia looked at how two-factor authentication methods, such as the 3-D Secure protocol, affect the user experience. Analysing data from Italy, he found empirical evidence of a trade-off between the security of technology and its usability.
Meanwhile, Carin van der Cruijsen from De Nederlandsche Bank looked at the issue of consumer privacy in the context of PSD2, exploring consumers’ attitudes to the use of payment data. The results of a recent survey of Dutch consumers indicate that 60% regard the confidentiality of payment data as important, with most people not wanting to share payment data with non-banks and the majority of consumers regarding the selling of payment data to commercial companies as unacceptable. Her paper concluded that context was important and that details of how data will be used should be clearly communicated to consumers in order to obtain their consent.
The increasing digitalisation and interconnectedness of financial services provides opportunities to improve the user experience, but it also poses a threat to cybersecurity.
Cyberattacks have become more frequent and sophisticated in recent years, threatening not only the individual institution in question, but the entire sector and the financial ecosystem as a whole. Against this background, Fabio Panetta, Deputy Governor of the Banca d’Italia, argued that we should “recognise that cyberspace is a global public good” and that responsibility for ensuring its security should be shared between governments, public institutions, private industry and academics. Approaching this issue from a central banking perspective, he said that an effective cybersecurity strategy rested on three pillars: regulation, cooperation and awareness of risks.
In the same vein, a panel moderated by Jan Smets, Governor of the Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique, agreed that the financial industry needed to show solidarity and cooperate, as cybersecurity was not an issue to compete on. In the course of that exchange of views, a number of suggestions were made as regards the best ways of protecting the retail payments ecosystem and building trust:
- increase spending on security protection (i.e. penetration tests);
- adopt a holistic approach and use dynamic risk
- management to tackle cyberthreats;
- use new technologies to analyse transaction risk and customer behaviour and manage fraud;
- establish an international forum bringing together experts from the world of cybersecurity;
- take steps to address the shortage of cybersecurity experts in the financial industry.
Adauga un comentariu
Adauga un comentariu folosind contul de Facebook
Alte stiri din categoria: Noutati BCE
Mario Draghi, President of the ECB,
Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB,
Frankfurt am Main, 14 December 2017 INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT Ladies and gentlemen, the Vice-President and I are very pleased to welcome you to our press detalii
Sustaining openness in a dynamic global economy Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at the Economic Policy Symposium of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackson Hole, 25 August 2017 The global recovery is firming up. In some countries detalii
Decizii de politică monetară (comunicat de presa al BCE) În ședința de astăzi, Consiliul guvernatorilor BCE a hotărât ca rata dobânzii la operațiunile principale de refinanțare și ratele dobânzilor la facilitatea de creditare marginală detalii
Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, Frankfurt am Main, 9 March 2017 Introductory statement to the press conference (with Q&A): Ladies and gentlemen, the Vice-President and I are very pleased to detalii
- Asociatia Pietelor Financiare respinge acuzatiile de manipulare a ROBOR de catre banci
- ROBOR-ul reactioneaza la restrictiile de creditare ale BNR
- Roborul profita de Isarescu
- ROBOR la 6 luni - evolutie istorica
- Topul bancilor dupa active in 2017
- Topul bancilor cu cele mai mici comisioane la contul curent cu card si online banking
- Topul bancilor dupa active in 2016
- Topul bancilor dupa active in 2015
- Topul bancilor dupa active in 2014
- BNR propune Parlamentului plafonarea dobanzilor la creditele bancilor intre 1,5 si 4 ori peste DAE medie, in functie de tipul creditului; in cazul IFN-urilor, plafonarea dobanzilor nu se justifica
- Legile privind plafonarea dobanzilor la credite si a datoriilor preluate de firmele de recuperare se discuta in Parlament (actualizat)
- Legea privind plafonarea dobanzilor la credite nu a fost inclusa pe ordinea de zi a comisiilor din Camera Deputatilor
- Senatorul Zamfir, despre plafonarea dobanzilor la credite: numai bou-i consecvent!
- Parlamentul dezbate marti legile de plafonare a dobanzilor la credite si a datoriilor cesionate de banci firmelor de recuperare (actualizat)
- Creditele noi acordate de banci au crescut in februarie, dupa cinci luni consecutive de scadere
- Numarul restantierilor din Biroul de Credit urca la cel mai ridicat nivel din ultimele sase luni
- Cate credite noi in euro au acordat bancile in 2017
- Statisticile creditelor acordate de banci populatiei (decembrie 2017)
- Statisticile creditelor acordate de banci firmelor (decembrie 2017)
- OUG 51 din 1997 actualizata privind operatiunile de leasing
- Ordonanta de urgenta nr. 99/2006 privind institutiile de credit si adecvarea capitalului, cu modificari si completari
- Ordonanta de Guvern nr. 21/1992 privind protectia consumatorilor (versiune actualizata)
- Regulament BNR privind institutiile emitente de moneda electronica
- Ordonanta de Urgenta (OUG) nr. 50 din 2010 privind contractele de credit pentru consumatori, actualizata
- Inflatia din Ungaria este 2,7%, cu o dobanda de politica monetara de 0,9%
- PIB-urile Ungariei si Poloniei au crescut mult mai mult decat cel al Romaniei in 2018
- Inflatia din Cehia a crescut la 2,5%
- Cursul euro/leu intr-o noua zona de variatie
- BNR: Ritmul anual de crestere a volumului productiei industriale a incetinit
- BRD retrage din oferta cecurile in valuta si operatiunile prin contact center
- IBAN-urile Bancpost se vor schimba in IBAN-uri Banca Transilvania de la 1 ianuarie 2019
- Alpha Bank isi inchide sucursalele si aplicatia de online banking la ora 14 si le deschide abia luni, la 8
- OTP Bank isi anunta clientii ca trebuie sa-si actualizeze datele personale pana in 5 decembrie, altfel banca le va bloca conturile si cardurile
- Banca Transilvania inventeaza POS-uri in forma de cutii de donatii
- Ministerul Finantelor spune ca este in plan cu necesarul de finantare pentru 2018, de 72 miliarde lei
- Termenul de depunere a declaratiei unice a fost prelungit pana la 31 iulie
- Romanii au cumparat titluri de stat Centenar in valoare de 786 milioane lei
- Populatia poate cumpara titluri de stat cu dobanda de 5%, de la Trezorerii sau Posta
- Titlurile de stat pentru populatie prin Programul Tezaur se vor distribui si prin Posta Romana
- Intrebari frecvente despre Biroul de Credit
- Lista bancilor si IFN-urilor care-si raporteaza clientii la Biroul de Credit
- Cum pot fi sters din Biroul de Credit?
- First Bank castiga definitiv un proces cu Protectia Consumatorilor privind restabilirea echilibrului contractual
- Jurisprudenta: clauzele privind rambursarea creditului in CHF la cursul de la data fiecarei rate fac parte din obiectul esential al contractului si nu pot fi calificate ca fiind abuzive
- Clauze abuzive in contractele de credit ale Piraeus Bank (decizie definitiva a judecatorilor)
- Se rejudeca un proces privind clauzele abuzive din contractele de credit ale BCR, la sesizarea ANPC
- Libra Bank pierde procesul cu ANSPDCP in care a contestat amenda primita pentru raportarea ilegala a clientilor la Biroul de Credit
- Enel vrea sa-si treaca clientii pe piata libera
- Oamenii reclama ca nu pot cumpara titluri de stat Centenar la Posta prin transfer bancar sau card, ci doar cu numerar
- Vodafone si Orange, amendate de ANCOM pentru ca si-au suprataxat clientii pentru convorbirile roaming in strainatate
- Ministerul Finantelor anunta ca introduce Declaratia Unica pentru persoanele fizice care realizeaza venituri din activitati economice sau alte categorii de venituri
- Ministerul Finantelor a imprumutat 2 miliarde euro de pe pietele internationale
- Pretul caselor, in scadere cu 0,7%, conform Eurostat
- Numarul fimelor active din Romania, conform statisticilor Registrului Comertului
- Evolutia istorica a cresterii anuale a Produsului Intern Brut (PIB), conform datelor Institutului National de Statistica (INS)
- Evolutia istorica a valorii Produsului Intern Brut (PIB), conform datelor Institutului National de Statistica (INS)
- Transferurile de bani ale romanilor din strainatate au ajuns la 2,1 miliarde euro anul trecut, conform statisticilor Eurostat
- ECB: Insights into the digital transformation of the retail payments ecosystem
- ECB introductory statement on Governing Council decisions
- Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB: Sustaining openness in a dynamic global economy
- Deciziile de politica monetara ale BCE
- Mario Draghi, President of the ECB: Introductory statement to the press conference (with Q&A)
- EBA publishes 2018 EU-wide stress test results
- EBA launches 2018 EU-wide transparency exercise
- EBA issues first binding mediation decision between the SRB and the NBR
- Asset repricing, cyber-attacks and Brexit are key risks for EU financial markets, shows ESA report
- EBA publishes its Roadmap on FinTech
- Peste 80% din depozitele bancare sunt garantate
- Depozitele bancare nu intra in campania electorala
- FGDB explica modul de aplicare a procedurii de recapitalizare interna a unei banci cu depozitele negarantate ale clientilor (bail-in)
- Valoarea depozitelor garantate de FGDB a crescut cu 50 miliarde lei in ultimul an, la 221 miliarde lei in total
- FGDB aminteste ca toate conturile si depozitele din bancile romanesti sunt garantate in limita a 100.000 de euro
- FMI: majorarea salariilor din sectorul public si legea pensiilor ar trebui reevaluate
- IMF statement of the 2018 Article IV Mission to Romania
- Jaewoo Lee, new IMF mission chief for Romania and Bulgaria
- IMF concludes article IV consultation with Romania
- IMF statement on the stability of the banking system in Ukraine
- BERD dezvaluie cat a platit pe actiunile Piraeus Bank
- ING Bank si BERD finanteaza parcul logistic CTPark Bucharest
- EBRD hails Moldova banking breakthrough
- Banca Transilvania and EBRD become majority shareholders of Victoriabank in Moldova
- BERD devine actionar Agricover Holding
- Federal Reserve urca dobanda la 2,25%
- Federal Reserve decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent
- Federal Reserve majoreaza dobanda de referinta pentru dolar la 1,5% - 1,75%
- Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement
- A Challenging Decade and a Question for the Future (speech by Janet Yellen, The Fed chair)
- Romania implements SME Initiative: EUR 580 m for Romanian businesses
- European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 20 million to Agricover Credit IFN
- Aplicatia Home Bank a ING a avut din nou probleme de functionare
- Probleme la Unicredit cu functionarea aplicatiilor de mobile banking si online banking
- Cardul de masa BT poate fi inregistrat in BT Pay, pentru platile cu telefonul
- BCR a lansat noua platforma de online banking, George
- BBVA ofera open banking
- State aid: Commission refers Romania to Court for failure to recover illegal aid worth up to €92 million
- Comisia Europeana publica raportul privind progresele inregistrate de Romania in cadrul mecanismului de cooperare si de verificare (MCV)
- Infringements: Commission refers Greece, Ireland and Romania to the Court of Justice for not implementing anti-money laundering rules
- Council of the European Union statement on Bulgaria path towards ERM II participation
- Romania, pe ultimul loc in Europa la digitalizare
- Obligatiunile Bancii Transilvania se tranzactioneaza la Bursa de Valori Bucuresti
- Obligatiunile Good Pople SA (FRU21) au debutat pe piata AeRO
- BVB avertizeaza doua firme ca nu si-au respectat obligatiile de raportare
- Raiffeisen Centrobank (RCB) a lansat produse de investitii tip warrant la BVB
- BVB a initiat procesul de fuziune cu Sibex