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European Commissioner for Internal Market and
EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Charlie McCreevy, and EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding welcomed the announcement today of GSMA, the global trade body for the mobile industry, and European Payments Council (EPC) to promote the use of mobile payment services. EPC and GSMA have agreed today to accelerate the deployment of services that enable consumers to pay for goods and services in shops, restaurants and other locations using their mobile phones.
“Bringing more competition to the payment services market has been my aim and agreements such as this show the possibilities that new technologies and innovative approaches offer in this regard” said Mr. McCreevy. "This is exactly what the Payment Services Directive, which comes into force at end of 2009, is designed to promote", he added.
"Voluntary industry agreements by the mobile industry are always welcome where they bring about concrete benefits of consumers and enhance the level-playing field for European companies in due respect of competition rules", said Commissioner Reding. "I therefore applaud today's announcement which should bring Europe to the forefront of mobile payments."
Mr. McCreevy recalled that a huge effort is being made by industry and stakeholders to create the conditions for a Single Euro Payments Area. In this regard he said that standards and requirements resulting from the agreement should be prepared in an open and transparent manner. "It is important that all stakeholders can have access to the process so that the outcome is of benefit to all." he said.
SEPA - The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is an initiative of the European banking industry that will make all electronic payments across the euro area – e.g. by credit card, debit card, bank transfer or direct debit – as easy as domestic payments within one country are now. Banks have been able to make the first SEPA products available since 1 January 2008, and are aiming to make SEPA a reality for everyone by the end of 2010.
EPC - The European Payments Council (EPC) is the trade association representing the European banking industry on payments and is responsible for defining the rules and standards for creating the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). EPC represents 8000 banks in 31 countries (EU, EEA and Switzerland).
GSMA - The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing more than 750 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. The Association's members represent more than 3 billion GSM and 3GSM connections - over 86% of the world's mobile phone connections.