We have a unique capability and expertise in retail payments.

Payments are an essential part of the shopping experience of our customers when visiting our stores, apps and web shops. Yet it is perceived as complex and costly, however in recent years Payments have become a great way of making the life of customers easier and generate insights to support that. In our activities around Payments, we strive to find the balance between customer experience and overall payment costs in an end-to-end approach.

Historically, we have been very vocal and successful in ensuring our payment needs and concerns are heard by the EU institutions, consumer organisations and stakeholders from the payment industry. This contributed for instance to the Interchange Fee Regulation in 2015 and to the creation of the ECSG (now EPSG – European Payments Stakeholder Group).

Through the Payments Committee, our members steer the direction of our Payments activities. Where applicable, we set up working groups for specific topics. EuroCommerce is represented in many Payments related bodies and activities, such as: Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), Payment Systems Market Expert Group (PSMEG), European Payment Council (EPC) and EPSG.


Our payment-related activities focus on 3 key topics:

  1. Costs of payments, including that of cash. We see a significant upward trend in the average cost of payments and are fighting hard to keep payments at affordable, convenient and safe levels.
  2. Developments in legislation and regulation. Over 20 pieces of EU legislation impact payments. Our members struggle to keep an overview and we call on legislators for more coherence and equal application across the single market.
  3. Innovation. Our members share and participate in initiatives for future payment offers to ensure our views are considered in the design and future operation.

EuroCommerce Payment messages

Our sector is a key partner in the payments value chain, pushing for a great yet affordable and safe customer experience. We continue to contribute constructively with regulators, legislators, consumer organisations and stakeholders from the payments industry to ensure payments work for all.

We welcome the European Commission’s 28 June proposals on the digital euro, cash acceptance and payment services. We see the digital euro as an opportunity for Europe to combine a compelling customer proposition with low transaction fees. We are keen to help European solutions such as the digital euro counterbalancing the offers of non-EU players.

Our 4 key messages:

  1. Fairer transaction fees: Implement a ‘fee per transaction’ model, allowing consumers to benefit from economies of scale. No fees for low-value payments.
  2. Merchant choice for digital euro and cash: Give merchants the freedom to decide whether to accept digital euro and cash, without mandatory acceptance.
  3. Transparent payment costs: Remove surcharging bans, making hidden payment costs visible to consumers, ultimately benefiting them.
  4. Fair treatment for meal vouchers: Ensure meal vouchers do not disadvantage merchants, treating them on par with general consumer payment methods.

Digital Euro

The digital euro is an important and relevant topic for retailers and wholesalers, because – if launched – it will affect the everyday life of almost all European citizens. It will offer an additional way for retailers to get paid for their goods and services.

Our main concerns are:

  1. Fair transaction fees
  2. Merchant choice for digital euro and cash
  3. Preserving privacy in the digital realm

Acceptance of cash

On 28 June 2023, the European Commission unveiled a proposal for the legal tender of euro banknotes and coins. Retailers and wholesalers  respond with 4 key messages:

  1. Keep cash acceptance voluntary.
  2. Prioritise safety measures.
  3. If mandatory, streamline regulations, ensure security, cost control, and exempt unmanned scenarios.
  4. Offer cashback as a voluntary service.

Payment Services Regulation (PSR)

Here are the retailers and wholesalers key messages on the recently proposed Payment Services Regulation (PSR):

  1. Revealing hidden payment costs helps consumers.
  2. Mandatory refund processes support consumer needs.
  3. Ensure strong customer authentication is consumer and retailer friendly.
  4. Empower innovation with Limited Network Exclusion.

Merchant Payments Coalition Europe:

EuroCommerce, Ecommerce Europe, HOTREC, IATA, Independent Retail Europe and SME United have decided to start working more closely together on the topic of retail payments. Merchants across sectors share a common ambition for the future of retail payments in the EU, but also share specific concerns such as the rising payment costs. By creating this coalition, European retail associations aim to foster the exchange of information and views on ongoing legislative and regulatory developments and innovation.

Whilst each organisation within the coalition has its own responsibility and membership, together we can coordinate our actions and make the merchants’ voices heard more clearly. Merchants are an essential part of the payment ecosystem, with a direct connection to consumers, and are always directly and indirectly impacted by regulatory, technical and business developments on payments. We, therefore, advocate for their views and experience to be taken into account in these developments.

Please visit this page regularly for updates on current topics and our views, hopes and concerns around Payments.

For further information contact: Atze Faas