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Smart Payment Association proposes instant payment card solution in Europe



Smart Payment Association (SPA) published proposals for an Instant Payment Card that would extend SEPA instant Credit Transfer functionality to consumers paying at point of sale (POS) terminals in stores and retail outlets in Europe.

An instant payment solution enables individuals or businesses to make payments or transfer funds in real time, even during non-working hours or days when other options are unavailable.

In contrast, other forms of transfers or payments, including in-store and online with debit and credit cards, that can take several days to reach destination accounts.

mobile payment system

SPA’s proposals would make real time transfers available to consumers in-store using an Instant Payment Card or smartphone app – in the same way as using the contact or contactless functionality on conventional chip and PIN debit or credit cards today.

The proposals by SPA offer an approach, compliant with existing EMV standards and that takes advantage of existing payment terminals already widely adopted and operating in Europe.

Implementing instant payments at the POS using a payment card or app issued by banks, would allow consumers to enjoy convenient and familiar mechanism of card-based payments, but they would also have more choice in how they pay. Retail traders would also be able to use existing POS infrastructures, while banks would benefit from reach and co-existence with today's card schemes.

Alain Martin, President at SPA, who authored the paper, said:

Alain Martin

By showcasing how to make it possible to extend pan European instant payment options into the retail space, our proposals illustrate the art of the possible. They aim to build on the enthusiasm for such a solution amongst many retailers – further raising interest and triggering discussions within the wider payments industry.

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Smart Payment Association proposes instant payment card solution in Europe

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