European Payments Council (EPC) director general Etrienne Goosse is urging banks throughout the euro zone to move quickly to adopt the EPC real-time payment scheme, Reuters reported on Wednesday. According to Goosse, Europe’s financial sector needs to innovate to compete with new financial technology payment solutions from companies like Facebook.
So far, only about 60 percent of EU banks and payment service firms have adopted the EPC standard, but Goosse suggested that every bank in the euro zone could be part of that system by 2020. As Reuters reports, full participation is important:
Without full coverage, some bank customers could experience transaction failures if transfers involve banks outside the system, which would reduce trust in the new service, another EPC official said.
Goosse stressed that the “clock is ticking” for European banks, as technology firms are increasingly targeting markets that traditional financial firms once viewed as theirs. He also noted that the global scale of these technology firms gives them a major advantage over the “fragmented European banking industry.” In response to a question about Facebook’s Libra and its potential impact, he said:
“They come with a global solution, under a global brand offering many things that the consumers seem to find wonderful.
“So we have no time.”