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Seven European mobile payment systems join forces to better develop cross-border contactless payments

3 septembrie 2019

The smartphone has now established itself as a means of payment in a large number of European countries. These generally compatible mobile payment systems want to enter into closer working relationships with one another and have thus founded the European Mobile Payment Systems Association (EMPSA).

Europe’s mobile payment systems “Bancontact Payconiq Company” (Belgium), “Bluecode” (Germany, Austria), “MobilePay” (Finland, Denmark), “SIBS/MB WAY” (Portugal), “Swish” (Sweden), “TWINT” (Switzerland) and “VIPPS” (Norway) established EMPSA to foster collaboration and international payments, according to a press release.

EMPSA members combine 25 million registered users, more than one million merchant acceptance points and more than 350 banks attached.

Wraa-Hansen, CEO of Denmark’s MobilePay system said the association will focus on making it possible to use the mobile payments seamlessly across Belgium, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland and four Nordic nations. Its current members „have similar set-ups” and are expected to be able to use each other’s systems.

It wil be chaired by Søren Mose, chairman of the board of directors of Swiss firm TWINT and vice-chaired by Anna-Lena Wretman, CEO of Sweden’s Swish with TWINT deputy CEO and CFO Anton Stadelmann assuming the role of secretary general.

“With this international cooperation, we want to accommodate our users’ wishes of also being able to use the tried-and-tested systems internationally,” explained Søren Mose, Chairman of EMPSA.

TWINT CEO Markus Kilb also had the following to say: “I am confident that this association will help to promote the interoperability and international use of the mobile payment systems in the medium term and establish a genuine European alternative means of payment.”

The primary aim of the group is to enable more cross-border interoperability for different, domestically focused m-payment systems and it has set up a specific working group to address the issue, which will be co-chaired by Bjørn Skjelbred from Norway-based VIPPS and Christian Pirkner of Germany’s Bluecode.

„Our goal is that consumers use their preferred, reliable local app to pay abroad. We are confident that working together under the umbrella of the association will promote interoperability of mobile payment solutions and will build a true European alternative, so important for the European economy”, said Nathalie Vandepeute from Belgian provider Bancontact Payconiq Company.

„MPSA is the key initiative for Europe to create its own standards and to build a competitive interoperable European framework to win back lost terrain in the payments space,” added Bluecode’s Pirkner. 

„The ability to carry out Swish payments outside of Sweden is a high priority among our seven million users. With EMPSA, we are now taking a significant step towards enabling it, while also strengthening our European collaboration between wallets.”, says Anna-Lena Wretman, Vice chairman of EMPSA & CEO Swish.

The imperative to encourage more interoperability has become more urgent given the plans for big tech firms to develop their own payment systems and currencies, such as Facebook’s Libra project. 

The association, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, has not yet been in dialogue with the European Commission but said the bloc earlier have asked member countries to be active in achieving interoperability.

To underscore the importance of interoperability EMPSA has already set up a working group to establish joint system interoperability. This working group is co-chaired by Bjørn Skjelbred from VIPPS and Christian Pirkner of Bluecode.

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Cifra/Declaratia zilei

Anders Olofsson – former Head of Payments Finastra

Banking 4.0 – „how was the experience for you”

So many people are coming here to Bucharest, people that I see and interact on linkedin and now I get the change to meet them in person. It was like being to the Football World Cup but this was the World Cup on linkedin in payments and open banking.”

Many more interesting quotes in the video below:


In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale?