RIGA, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Providers of instant payment services in Europe should ensure that their services are pan-European, member of the executive board of the European Central bank (ECB) Yves Mersch said on Wednesday.
"To achieve economies of scale and benefit from the integrated European payments market, providers of instant payment services should ensure that their services are truly pan-European," Mersch said in his speech at the conference on modern payment services organized by the central bank of Latvia in Riga.
"Their customers should be able to send and receive payments across Europe, in line with the principles of the Single Euro Payments Area," he said.
Unrestricted instant payments across Europe would create preconditions for innovations in the European payments industry, Mersch noted.
"Thanks to instant payments, the European payments industry can create a pan-European platform for innovation. But only if everyone in Europe can pay each other instantly and the service is not restricted to the customers of certain banks or residents of particular countries," he said.
Mersch also warned against creating artificial barriers in instant payment services as it would play into the hands of potential competitors.
"Payment service providers should not erect any barriers to the uptake of instant payments, for example by only offering them through a limited number of channels or by charging prohibitively high fees," he said.
"Such strategies will only drive end users to other players. No one owns the customer. Web and technology giants are already knocking at the door, eager to leverage their existing user base to quickly gain market share in payment services," Mersch added.