On 3 April, the European Commission launched a consultation on digital finance and FinTech and a consultation on retail payments. These consultations were expected a few weeks earlier, however COVID-19 messed up the timeline and the Commission postponed and adapted these consultations to the new context. As the coronavirus outbreak has shown for instance, consumers and businesses are increasingly relying on digital financial services like cashless/contactless payments.
Digital finance consultation
The consultation on digital finance focuses on:
- Measures needed to further innovative digital financial services in the EU (e.g.: technologically neutral financial services legislation, including for DLT, crypto-assets).
- Competition issues with BigTech companies.
- Artificial Intelligence.
- Open Finance: promoting a more data-driven financial sector.
- Enabling a digital operational resilience framework for financial services.
- Digital Sustainable Finance – how can digital finance support sustainability?
Retail Payments consultation
The consultation on retail payments seeks feedbacks on how to achieve:
- Fast, convenient, safe, affordable and transparent payment instruments, with pan-European reach and “same as domestic” customer experience.
- An innovative, competitive European retail payments market ( including thinking around open banking).
- Access to safe, efficient and interoperable retail payments systems and other support infrastructures.
- Improved cross-border payments, including remittances, facilitating the international role of the euro.
What are the next steps?
On 14 April, the European Commission and Member States launched a call for participation in a pan-European Hackathon to connect innovators, partners and buyers across Europe to develop innovative solutions to coronavirus. The Hackathon will take place on 24, 25 and 26 April.
The European Commission is organising a series of webinars on the topics of the digital consultation:
- 22 April – A Digital Single Market for financial services.
- 29 April – Open Finance – promoting a more data-driven financial sector.
- 6 May – Ensuring a technology-neutral and innovation-friendly regulatory framework.
- 13 May – Enabling an EU framework for markets in crypto-assets.
- 20 May – Enabling a digital operational resilience framework for financial services.
- 27 May – Digital Sustainable Finance – how can digital finance support sustainability?
The consultations will run until 26 June.
The new digital finance strategy and the retail payments strategy are expected for the third quarter of 2020.
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