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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 25, 2023 • Issue 23:12:02

Readers Speak:
Europe making open banking a reality

Charles Damen, chief product officer at Token.io, sent in the following on Nov. 30, 2023, the day version 1.1 of the SEPA Payment Account Access (SPAA) scheme rulebook went into effect:

The SPAA scheme rulebook, together with the SPAA scheme's recent announcement of its default fees, is welcome news and represents an important milestone for the future of open banking, open finance and payments in Europe. The SPAA scheme standards have the potential to help unlock enhanced functionality and innovation in payments and provide balanced commercial opportunities for both third-party providers (TPPs) and banks.

As a complement to the current free-to-use regulatory open banking APIs, the SPAA scheme will facilitate the delivery of a set of premium APIs that banks can choose to offer for a default fee, or bilaterally negotiate lower fees with TPPs. The richer functionality that the SPAA scheme will deliver (through premium payment APIs) will enable Pay by Bank solutions to reach their full potential. Examples of such functionality include Dynamic Recurring Payments (which are analogous to the UK's commercial Variable Recurring Payments) and Payment Certainty Mechanisms, both of which will help enable account-to-account (A2A) payments to support use cases such as one-click checkout and point of sale.

As the European Central Bank's recently revised retail payments strategy rightly points out, "SPAA-based or PSD2-based payment solutions can play a positive role in ensuring a choice of payment solutions." To now help drive towards making SPAA a reality, it's critical that willing banks and TPPs start coming together to develop pilot initiatives that provide real-world testing of the model and functionality envisaged under the SPAA scheme. In addition, as other regions such as the UK look to establish sustainable commercial models for open banking, the precedent being set by the SPAA scheme provides plenty to learn from.

Open banking and you

Do open banking, open finance and open payments hold potential for the payments industry overall and your business in particular? Please share your thoughts on this and other compelling topics in our sphere to greensheet@greensheet.com. end of article

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