A2A payments: A new dawn for European transactions

At EBAday 2024, Simone Del Guerra, Head of Central Institutions & International Sales at Nexi Group, discussed the burgeoning era of A2A payments (account-to-account) in Europe.

A2A payments for European transactions

Del Guerra highlighted the potential of A2A to revolutionise the financial landscape by leveraging instant payment systems.

Despite their current fragmentation and lower adoption compared to traditional methods like credit cards and digital wallets, A2A offer significant advantages, including lower costs and enhanced security.

The Current Landscape

A2A payments are not new, but their adoption has been slow due to several barriers. One major hurdle is the suboptimal user experience at points of sale (POS).

Customers are accustomed to the convenience of credit cards and digital wallets, which offer speed and ease of use. In contrast, A2A often require more steps, leading to a less efficient transaction process.

Another challenge is the lack of customer awareness and trust in A2A payments.

Many consumers are unfamiliar with these types of transactions and may be hesitant to use them due to concerns about security and reliability. This trust gap needs to be addressed to foster broader adoption.

Instant payments are emerging as a key driver for the adoption of A2A. Instant payments address one of the primary concerns with A2A payments: speed.

By integrating instant payments with A2A transactions, financial institutions can provide a seamless and efficient payment experience.

Successful case studies from around the world demonstrate that instant payments can significantly enhance the appeal of A2A transactions.

Countries that have implemented instant payment systems have seen a marked increase in the use of A2A, suggesting that these two types of payments are inherently complementary.

Standardization and Interoperability

For A2A payments to become mainstream, standardization is crucial.

Del Guerra emphasized the need for standardization of overlay services such as Request to Pay, database proxies, and QR codes. These services can simplify the payment process and make A2A transactions more user-friendly.

Request to Pay, for instance, allows payees to send a payment request to the payer, who can then authorize the payment.

This service streamlines the payment process and enhances security by reducing the need for sensitive information to be shared.

Similarly, the use of QR codes can make A2A more accessible, allowing users to initiate transactions with a simple scan.

The Future of A2A Payments

The integration of instant payments and the standardization of overlay services are set to propel A2A into the mainstream.

As these technologies become more widespread, customers will become more familiar with and trusting of A2A transactions.

Financial institutions, in turn, need to educate their customers and promote the benefits of these payments.

The era of A2A promises a more efficient, cost-effective, and secure payment landscape.

By embracing these technologies, Europe can lead the way in financial innovation, providing consumers and businesses with a superior payment experience.

In conclusion, while challenges remain, the future of A2A looks promising.

With continued development and adoption of instant payment systems and standardized services, A2A payments have the potential to become a cornerstone of the European payments ecosystem.


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