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Where treasurers see the value in request to pay

The Euro Banking Association (EBA) has released a report on the corporate perspective on request to pay. The report is based on the EBA Request to Pay Survey that ran between September 2020 and February 2021 and was delivered in cooperation with PPI and with the support of an expert group of bank practitioners. The EBA surveyed over 100 corporate experts from 20 countries and conducted additional one-on-one interviews to find out how businesses would like to use request to pay and where they see its value.

"Understanding what businesses need is essential for banks and other service providers as they develop request to pay end-user solutions," said Thomas Egner, secretary general of the Euro Banking Association. "Nearly 100% of our respondents are interested in using request to pay and also support a Europe-wide mode of operation for the new instrument. At the EBA, we look forward to fostering a demand and supply side dialogue that will help request to pay to move on from this promising starting point to become a crucial component of the pan-European payments ecosystem."

The report presents an analysis of why and how corporates expect to use request to pay, what they think will accelerate or simplify its implementation, and which use cases and features would particularly benefit from request to pay services. Honing in on specific use cases - point of sale interaction (POS/POI), online commerce, e-invoicing and recurring payments - the report fleshes out where exactly the corporate experts see the additional value of request to pay and what kind of support they need to benefit from the new instrument.

"Request to pay services will only make a difference if they deliver added value, remedy existing pain points in payments and can be easily integrated with the users’ payment processes and interfaces," commented Hubertus von Poser, member of the Management Board, PPI AG – Payments. "The input provided by the respondents points to a number of practical deliverables, which we will be eager to further explore going forward."

Report highlights

Close to 100% of respondents show an interest in using request to pay and agree that it is important to offer a Europe-wide uniform mode of operation. Almost 90% of respondents indicate an interest in using request to pay for cross-border payments within Europe.

In order to accelerate or simplify the introduction of request to pay, respondents have identified potential actions in the following areas:

  • Standardisation and coordination.
  • Core features and/or value-added services.
  • End-user acceptance.
  • Risk management.
  • Positioning/outlook.

In terms of additional use cases to be covered, respondents mention, among others, the use of request to pay for person-to-person and machine-to-machine payments as well as its potential in following up on unpaid amounts or returned direct debits.

Regarding value-added services, key suggestions for the benefit of the payee include a payment guarantee, functionality facilitating data exchange and communication with the payer, the integration of request to pay with the payee’s ERP systems and services supporting reconciliation.

The features or additional services mentioned for the payer can be categorised according to the following main purposes:

  • Enhancing customer experience and protection for payments.
  • Supporting payers in actively managing their personal finances.
  • Facilitating post-transaction communication and actions between the payee and the payer.

Respondents also showed a notable interest in the ability to use the request to pay messaging channel for exchanging other information between the payee and the payer aside from data related to the payment and the parties involved. 43% support, for example, the possibility to include data on any guarantees related to the sold product or service.

"To successfully bring request to pay to market, we need a dialogue between all actors at European level," noted Norbert Hambloch, head of Treasury at commercial property firm STRABAG-PFS. "The objective must be to ensure smooth processing across standardised interfaces. This includes the treasury and ERP systems. For this reason, a forum should be created to enable this dialogue, as the starting point for the development of related solutions."

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