Electronic Payments: What’s the Prospect in Greece – What Merchants Need to Know

Electronic Payments: What’s the Prospect in Greece – What Merchants Need to Know

Interest in direct electronic payments is growing in our country.

In Greece, as Christina Papakonstantinou, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Greece (BoG) and Chair of the Board of DIAS SA, mentioned in her speech at the Payments3600 conference powered by DIAS, a significant increase in direct payments can be recorded , as also proven this year in March, where their transactions more than doubled compared to the corresponding period last year, they remain however at 8.5% of all transfers, a percentage lower than the European average.

The full adoption of direct payments by the Greek market is an immediate priority for the Bank of Greece, he added, stressing that in case direct payments do not develop due to the strong momentum they are gathering in relation to their widespread demand from the public and then from other bodies, e.g. international Big Tech companies will be invited to fill the void that will arise.

The prospects and challenges of using instant payments

Stavroula Kambouridou, Managing Director of DIAS SA, characterized payments of this type as the most emerging FinTech sector.

According to the data of a recent study, in 2021, the turnover of the electronic payment industry in the world reached 2,100 billion dollars, at the time when that of pharmaceutical products was 1,400 billion dollars. . Indeed, it is estimated that in 2026 global payment revenues will soar to $3.3 trillion, said Kambouridou.

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DIAS’ interest lies in account-to-account (A2A) payments, which are recording double-digit growth rates internationally, aided by technological development driven by direct payments. It looks like the time has come for Greece to be awarded the A2A solution as a commonly accepted alternative payment method for merchants who, as evidenced by conference panels, seem to be calling for it.

The Managing Director of DIAS SA spoke at length about the evolution of the sizes and the degree of acceptance of IRIS and the three sub-products that compose it (IRIS Person to Person for the transfer of money between friends, IRIS Person to Business for paid freelancers and small businesses, both instantly, as well as IRIS ecommerce for paid businesses in eShops and potentially in physical stores), highlighting the need for financial institutions, whose mobile banking apps already have IRIS functionality, to leverage the sizes and proven acceptance of The IRIS trade name (which has over 1.6 million users) “builds” a corresponding momentum for IRIS e-commerce as well, where its share of e-commerce usage is less than 1%.

Instant Single Wallet Payment Vs European “Roaming” Payments

The expressed position of the European Payment Initiative (EPI) for the creation of a single European wallet for direct payments, occupied an important part of the proceedings of the Payments 3600 conference, with international speakers Etienne Goosse, former director general of the ‘European Payments Council (EPC) and Holger Neuhaus, Head of Market Innovation & Integration at DG Market Infrastructure and Payments of the European Central Bank (ECB), to welcome the development of a single pan-European interbank direct payment instrument which will act as a “bulwark” against similar successful initiatives from Asia and the United States.

For his part, Dr. Christian Pirkner, President of the European Association of Mobile Payment Systems (EMPSA) pleaded for the implementation of an innovative payment “roaming” scenario in Europe, in which each country would develop its own solution (IRIS type) then the existing solutions would be interconnected. This is because – among other things – the relevant bodies in each country are better acquainted with the particularities, content and functioning of the payment area in each one separately. Note that DIAS has been a member of EMPSA since the beginning of the year.

What factors contributed to the creation of BLIK and BIZUM

As stated in a DIAS announcement, the clear vision and strategy, the common promotional messages it “communicates” to the 22 banks with which it cooperates, the flexibility, the fact that it was aimed at an audience that wanted to benefit easy, fast and secure transactions, but also the constant support from day one by the CEOs of the shareholder banks were the factors that led to the success of BLIK, the Polish A2A direct payment system, according to its CEO, Dariusz Mazurkiewicz.

“It is also considered important to adopt a more user-friendly pricing policy, which will be competitive with the corresponding credit card charges. When we launched our operation in 2015, there were approximately 1 million m- banking, while today that number is 26 million customers.In addition, 59% of all mobile banking transactions and 67% of e-commerce purchases in the country are made through BLIK through the mobile banking applications of the partner banks. 75% of our revenue comes from the use of BLIK in e-commerce since the P2P service is free. This revenue will help us expand into other European markets, such as Romania and Slovakia. to get started,” Mazurkiewicz said.

The fact that Spanish financial institutions have understood in time the dynamics of technology companies as a proposal to offer payment alternatives to cards and, therefore, that they have cooperated, with regard to the advantages of immediacy, of convenience and security, has played a catalytic role in the successful presence of the BIZUM payment service in the market since October 2016, with the percentage of use in e-commerce this year reaching 25%, and the number of its 25 million users, as Fernando Rodriguez Ferrer, Business Development Manager of BIZUM, pointed out.

63% annual growth of Instant Payments in 2022 internationally

For his part, Panagiotis Kriaris, Commercial Director and Head of Business Development Sector of Unzer, pointed out that alternative payments (e.g. P2P, Buy Now Pay Later, Digital Wallets, etc.) are dynamically at the forefront, with cash and credit card payments to be eliminated. As he pointed out, real-time payments (instant payments) saw 63% growth in 2022 globally, with India, China and Brazil leading and Europe having enough ground to cover.

The Payments3600 conference powered by DIAS, organized by Boussias and DIAS SA, participated for the first time as a central sponsor.

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