E-Payment products and value-added services – moving towards an innovative European internal market
Working Paper no 61, 2009
Central banks analyse issues concerning retail payments – or just payments – to be able to promote optimal means of payment. Over the years, electronic payments – i.e. payments initiated and settled electronically – have gradually replaced manual paper-based payments on the grounds of convenience, security and efficiency. Moreover, payments become more efficient when services are offered to customers both before and after payment. These so-called value-added services (VAS) are fully electronic services such as e-invoicing and e-reconciliation, which bringtime and cost-savings for all participants, as paper-based services and manual work are replaced. In this paper we prove a clear-cut distinction between electronic payment products (e-payments) and VAS. We use the so-called Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) project as a case study and discuss its current state of fatigue. Based on practical experience in Europewe conclude that the SEPA fatigue can be overcome by real-time settlement for payments and VAS supporting end-to-end (e2e)straight-through processing (STP).