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SEPA instant payments was one of 2016’s success stories, says EPC

The SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme was one of the 'greatest hits' of 2016, writes Javier Santamaria in the European Payments Council (EPC), in its December newsletter. The SCT Inst scheme was published at the end of November 2016 and the EPC expects the first SCT Inst transactions in November 2017. An article by the EPC's Anthony Richter and Jean-Yves Jacquelin, outlines how payment service providers (PSPs) will have the opportunity to adhere to the scheme and prepare for the November 2017 kick-off from as early as this January. They write: “The SCT Inst scheme is an excellent opportunity for PSPs to prove that payments can be ingenious and that they are firmly aboard the innovation train.”

Can fintechs and banks really be friends?

The newsletter also covers a number of other important topics, including an interview with Lázaro Campos, co-founder of FinTechStage, who discusses the growing cooperation between fintechs and banks. He argues that banks and start-ups no longer see each other as competitors and that each side benefits from partnerships and collaboration, saying: “Relationships that work are based on clear goal setting, extensive communication and joint customer experimentation.”

Tackling card fraud

There are also a couple of updates on the cards industry, with an overview of the first actions taken by the European Cards Stakeholders Group (ECSG), which was created in September 2016. So far it has focused on responding to the European Banking Authority’s consultation on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication, under PSD2, as well as on its response to a consultation on the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume, which is now due on 1 March 2017. And to tackle payment card fraud, which amounts to some €1.5 billion in Europe, the EPC announces it will be setting up a dedicated card fraud prevention body in early 2017.

Regional focus

There is also some country-specific analysis in the newsletter. One article looks at Estonia's path towards becoming a leader in the sector of start-ups and e-payments. The author, LHV Bank's Jüri Laur, explains there are several factors that have enabled Estonia to progress rapidly in terms of technology. These include the country's “excellent infrastructure and its high level of confidence in technology, expressed in the desire to perform daily operations using innovative technological methods. In addition, the country’s small size supports the adoption of new technologies, as changes can be implemented rapidly amongst a population of just 1.3 million.” There are also articles looking at the modernisation of Canada's payments system and at how Poland is also at the cutting edge of payment technology.

CTMfile take: This month's newsletter from the EPC covers some important topics and this article in particular provides a useful compilation of payments research from industry analysts.

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