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EurActiv goes local: Portals discuss the payment services directive at national level


08 Jul 2008


Trade & Society
Euro & Finance
Social Europe & Jobs
EU Priorities 2020

EurActiv special coverage in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Poland and Romania 

By January 2010, the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is set to create a zone in which all crossborder payments for both consumers and business will be treated as domestic.

To achieve this, the European Payment Services Directive (PSD) will have to be fully implemented by EU countries, necessitating significant changes to national banking systems, which will facilitate the non-cash economy.

Thanks to support from Visa Europe, EurActiv’s network portals in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Poland and Romania have set out to cover the implementation process in their countries. They will stimulate debates among national stakeholders and explain what is at stake:

-         What are the major implementation challenges ahead?

-         Is implementation on track?

-         How will consumers benefit?

Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy told EurActiv: “Overall, the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) will increase the competitiveness of European business and the financial sector, as well as bring about the integration of payments markets in the EU. 123 billion euros in the next six years. These are the expected benefits of SEPA according to a study carried out by Cap Gemini for the Commission. To be able to develop and launch SEPA products, industry needs a sound legal platform. The Payments Services Directive provides that legal foundation and its adoption was a decisive milestone towards making SEPA a reality. Member states need to implement the PSD rapidly, consistently and faithfully if SEPA is to become the world-class payment system that Europe's citizens and businesses deserve”.

The CEO & President of Visa Europe Peter Ayliffe said: "Visa Europe welcomes EurActiv's efforts to raise awareness of the Payment Services Directive and to ensure that national stakeholders have all the information they need to get to grips with how this new legislation will affect payments in their countries. Accelerating the transition from cash to more efficient electronic payments benefits everyone. For example, for approximately every 1% increase in electronic payments, the European economy saves around € 800m a year. We strongly support the Commission's SEPA vision and believe in a larger, more efficient, more competitive single market for payments in Europe."

Building on the success of the Fondation EurActiv workshops in Brussels, EurActiv will also organise stakeholder workshops on the PSD including NGOs, industry, governments and parliaments. The first workshop will take place in Paris on 18 September 2008, followed by a workshop in Bucharest on 7 October 2008.

To view the local coverage, go to:

 English / general dossier published on : Payment Services Directive: The end of the cash era?

-         France: Vers une harmonisation des services de paiement dans l’Union européenne

-         Germany: Umsetzung der EU-Zahlungsdiensterichtlinie: Auf dem Weg in eine bargeldlose Zukunft?

-         Poland: Dyrektywa w sprawie usług płatniczych (PSD): Koniec ery gotówki?

-         Romania : Zona unica de plati – in curand si pentru cardul tau

-         Bulgaria : Директивата за платежнитеуслуги: много възможности, но как ще бъде приложена?

You can also go to our press releases in Bulgarian, French, German, Polish and Romanian 

Media contacts:

Kristina Weich Hondrila, Public Affairs Director, phone: +32 (0)2 226 58 17,

Stéphanie Rhomberg, Network & Language Manager, phone: +32 (0)2 788 36 88,

Francesco Guarascio, Journalist Financial Services, phone: +32 (0)2 226 58 15,