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Harmonising payment services in Europe


21 Jan 2010


Euro & Finance
EU Priorities 2020

EurActiv ‘Special Week’ coverage on the Payment Services Directive and the Single Euro Payment Area

EurActiv, the independent media portal specialised in EU policies, will be running special coverage next week on the move towards a harmonised payment system in the European Union. 

There are still large differences between national payment systems in Europe. The EU is seeking to remove these obstacles and reduce the cost of cross-border and domestic payments for consumers by putting in place a Payment Services Directive (PSD). The PSD is intended to clear the way for the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) – a system of standardised electronic payments across the EU.

The special coverage will take place from 25-29 January and will take stock of where Europe stands in setting up these new mechanisms. 

Issues to be addressed will range from the plans of new EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier to privacy and data protection in the banking sector, the mobile payments market and the race for new SEPA-compliant credit and payment (debit) cards.

The coverage will feature in EurActiv’s financial services section, which is made available free-of-charge in three languages, thanks to the support of Visa Europe:




The section already features useful background reading on financial services and the move towards a single payment area. These include policy briefings (or ‘LinksDossiers’) on the following subjects:

The Payment Services Directive [DE] 

The Single Euro Payment Area [FR] [DE] 

Media contacts:

Frédéric Simon, Editor, Tel. +32(0)2.788.36.78,

Daniela Vincenti-Mitchener, Managing Editor, Tel. +32(0)2.788.36.69, 

Christophe Leclercq, Publisher,, Tel. +32(0),

Note to the editor: is the network of independent policy portals on EU affairs, counting 590,000 unique visitors together with the Web 2.0 platform (CIM certified figures – October 2008). Set up in 1999, the portal is an important working instrument for the majority of EU Actors (institutions, industry federations, NGOs, think tanks, the press and others) involved in defining or influencing EU policies.

National policy portals of the CrossLingual network in 11 countries and 11 languages are accessible here 

In order to provide free services and ensure independence, EurActiv's services are financed from four sources: corporate sponsoring, EurActor membership, online advertising and EU projects.

EurActiv's CrossLingual network is sponsored by the European Year of Creativity and Innovation and the European Commission’s Small Business Act / SME week campaigns. General sponsors of are: ExxonMobil, Enel, First Solar, Honeywell, INRIA, the Nickel Institute, United Technologies and VISA Europe. Section sponsors of are: Dow, the EU Bookshop, EURid, euro-ciett, Gasunie, IBM, Microsoft, Nike, Syngenta, Veolia Environnement. Further supporters include: Shell and Organisation International de la Francophonie. EurActiv also has 60 “content partners” (NGOs & think tanks) as well as ca. 500 “contributors”, providing their policy positions for free publication, up to the editorial team. Input welcome:

EurActiv content extracts can be re-used freely by other media, subject to clear attribution, and copy sent to


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