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Mobile Payment Interoperability in Southern Europe & Beyond

Boaz Gam

Boaz Gam


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Article content
  1. Why Is the Bancomat Pay, Bizum & MB Way Partnership Big News?
  2. Getting Started: The First Collaboration Steps
  3. Other Initiatives Supporting Interconnectivity in European Mobile Payments

A New Era in Southern Europe’s Mobile Payments

The Southern European financial landscape has long been characterized by fragmented and unsynchronized mobile money transfer services. Yet, a recent development promises to reshape this reality! At the end of 2023, Spain’s Bizum, Italy’s Bancomat, and Portugal’s SIBS signed a letter of intent to join forces and promote the interoperability of their respective mobile payment solutions.

Yet, this collaborative effort is not the only initiative that lays the groundwork for more cohesive domestic and cross-border transactions in the region. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the latest advancements that are set to promote a more interconnected and resilient payment network not only in Southern Europe but also in the EU and EEA as a whole!

Why Is the Bancomat Pay, Bizum & MB Way Partnership Big News?

The recently announced partnership intention between Southern Europe’s three major mobile payment solutions has created quite a lot of buzz in the payment industry. But why exactly is it a big deal?

One key consideration is the scale and reach of Bizum, MB Way, and Bancomat Pay. Think about it: in 2023 alone, these companies processed over 1,470 billion payments and boasted a combined user base of over 42.7 million users.

Thus, the agreement to join forces between these three major players offers plenty of potential for significant positive changes in the Southern European payments landscape, including:

  • Streamlined cross-border transactions. With interoperability between the three platforms, users in Spain, Portugal, and Italy will no longer face the hassle of dealing with multiple payment systems for international transactions, which will promote greater economic integration and commerce within the region.
  • Enhanced competitiveness. By partnering up, Bizum, MB Way, and Bancomat Pay can better compete with other global payment providers and fintech companies.
  • Standardization of practices This collaboration is likely to lead to a unified set of protocols across the participating platforms, which will encourage consistency and transparency in transactions, enhancing trust and confidence among users.

Besides, what makes this initiative even more impactful is the fact that it is open for more European payment providers to join in at a later stage.

Getting Started: The First Collaboration Steps

The initial phase of this mobile payment collaborative initiative focuses on peer-to-peer transactions and is scheduled to roll out already in 2024. However, this project’s goals extend far beyond P2P transfers alone. Thus, its next phases are set to broaden its scope by covering a wider range of payment scenarios.

This approach reflects a strategic vision to cater to the diverse needs of consumers and businesses alike, positioning this effort as a key initiative in the evolving landscape of mobile payments.

Other Initiatives Supporting Interconnectivity in European Mobile Payments

A New Era in Southern Europe’s Mobile Payments

While the partnership between Bizum, MB Way, and Bancomat Pay represents a significant advancement toward interoperability in Southern European mobile payments, it is just one piece of the larger puzzle.

For instance, if you take a look at the bigger picture, it becomes clear how this collaboration is in sync with the efforts of the European Mobile Payment Systems Association ( EMPSA ), which represents 90 million users and hundreds of European banks. It also has similarities with the European Payments Initiative (EPI) and the P27 Nordic payment platform, which is set to go live in 2025.

Due to this, we can expect an increasing degree of cooperation between these projects as they grow and evolve. Although it is still unclear how exactly these initiatives will eventually merge, this tendency demonstrates a promising trajectory toward a more interconnected and seamless European payments ecosystem.

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