Merchants are under increasing pressure from three directions: energy prices are squeezing many retailers’ and wholesalers’ already very narrow margins, while suppliers seek higher prices and consumers, suffering from the cost-of-living crisis, are spending less and retailers and wholesalers cannot easily pass on all their added costs.
This is why the European Commission proposal for a regulation to kick-start the rather slow introduction of instant payments makes a major difference for our sector. Only 11% of payments in Europe are by instant payment, and fees for accepting card payments have been rising dramatically over recent years, adding to the already major pressures on merchants’ profitability. The Commission proposal to accelerate the rollout of instant payments in Europe is a major step forward in creating an efficient, low-cost alternative to traditional card payments, bringing welcome competition in the payments market and speeding up Europe’s preparedness to embrace digitalisation. EuroCommerce will be working with the Commission to press co-legislators to adopt the proposal rapidly, and to allow instant payments to be universally available across Europe as soon as possible.