The system was initiated by the European Retail Payments Council
On Tuesday European specialist media reported that equensWorldline, an international payment service provider, implemented a Pan-European platform for cross-border P2P money transfers. The system will use the Sepa Proxy Lookup (SPL) protocol, which makes it possible to transfer money between banks using the recipient's phone number by assigning it to a bank account number.
From what I know the implementation doesn't yet mean that customers from any European banks can use the solution. For that to be possible, P2P payment operators from at east two different countries need to join the system. What's interesting, though, is that the first such operator that has already done a test integration with the new system is Polish Payment Standard, which manages Blik.
PPS's press office said that the company has been involved in the creation of a European phone number money transfer system since the very beginning. The service should enable the exchange of necessary data for the initiation of mobile payments between users of different P2P solutions across Europe. Three parties will be involved in an international P2P payment process: initiating and receiving country operators, and the SPL mentioned above.
How will it work? When a sender orders a transfer by entering the recipient's phone number, the local operator, such as PPS, will send a query to the SPL about the bank account number assigned to the phone number. SPL will then forward the query to all the other local systems it is integrated with. After verifying their own databases, the local systems will inform SPL if the phone number is in their database and whether it is assigned to a bank account. This information will then be forwarded by SPL to the operator initiating the payment.
- The Polish Payment Standard joining the new system is an important step in the development of Blik, the Polish mobile payment system, on a European standard level. Ultimately, we would like to see European bank customers have the convenience of transferring money to the recipient’s phone number, just as Polish customers can, regardless of the country they're in - says Dariusz Mazurkiewicz, PPS's president.
The idea of making P2P payments international was born in 2015, an was initiated by the European Retail Payments Council. In December 2017 the European Payments Council published regulations for participating in the system. PPS joined in developing the project at a very early stage, sharing with the other participants their experiences with phone number transfers with Blik in Poland. The implementation of an SPL-backed solution for sending and receiving transfers with just a phone number will require changes in regulations from Blik as well as all the banks that participate in it.