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Payment methods allow to use the money holded in deposit account or in cash to pay the expenses and debts. Interbank systems allow the exchange and possibly compensation payments means between credit institutions and payment institutions.

Means of payment are a combination of a unit of account (including the monetary unit) and a payment instrument, that is to say the effective way to move proposed payment assets.

The payment methods are also used for operations that are not strictly payments as donations, transfers between accounts of the same holder, or checks completed as deposit but not charged.

Note finally that the payment does not cover all modes of regulation, which also include barter of goods or services.

Development factors

Some of the drivers of current and future diversified payment methods in Europe are:

  • The Directive on payment services in Europe of 13 November 2007 which harmonizes services, allow free competition, and promote the introduction of new payment services, in particular those based on telecommunication services and using the means of SEPA payment. The directive improves consumer protection (revocation of an order, turnaround , information, etc.
    This disruption of acquisition modes of payment knows that mutations involved in the sale of banking services.
  • Advanced technology (conventional electronic chip with contact or with advanced radio transmission, Internet, etc.). For example, the mobile phone will become the preferred support for new services proximity payment, with or without the use of credit card.
  • The development of the globalization of trade. The establishment of international standards, including card payment or bank transfer (bank identifiers), aligns the operations.

In Europe, the SEPA Directive (Single Euro Payments Area) led to the introduction of new payment instruments, which make payments throughout the ‘SEPA’ as easily as national level. This standard is operational (SEPA credit transfer, for example).

Translated and adapted from Wikipedia.

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