The banks are bringing new and more convenient payment solutions to the market

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At the initiative of the working group set up at the Estonian Payments Forum, the banks will soon be bringing new payment services to market. In the working group are Eesti Pank, the largest commercial banks, merchants and consumer representatives. By the end of 2019 at the latest it will be possible to transfer money from one bank to another using the mobile phone number of the recipient. It is planned that a service allowing messages to be sent requesting payment between banks will come to the market next year.

“The services that have so far only been used within an individual bank will soon be available between banks. With this we are turning a new page in Estonian banking. Making bank transfers and sending electronic payment requests will become as easy and as fast as paying by contactless card is now”, said Madis Müller, Governor of Eesti Pank.

Head of the Estonian Banking Association Erki Kilu confirmed that banks have been working for a long time on these services, which their clients are very interested in. “People in Estonia have high expectations for the development of electronic banking services. A lot of services that are quite unusual in other countries have been the norm for people in Estonia for a long time already. The banks here have to work hard to keep their customers satisfied. We believe that these new banking solutions will quickly make everyday life easier for many people in Estonia”, he said.

It is currently only possible to initiate a payment using a mobile phone number in the SEB mobile bank. The new solution will allow such payments to be made to friends and contacts who have an account in a different bank. Payments initiated with a mobile phone would work well for sharing the costs of a barbecue party for example, or for paying pocket money to a child.

Only Swedbank clients are currently able to send messages requesting payment by text message, email or payment orders sent through Facebook. Next year clients of some other banks will also be able to send such messages requesting payment with pre-filled payment order forms. Interbank payment request messages will be useful for splitting a restaurant bill between friends, buying strawberries from the market, shopping for second-hand clothes online, and even for selling cars.

The working group aims to bring solutions to the market that will encourage the wider use of electronic invoices and receipts and will make it easier to pay in shops that do not currently accept payment cards.

The new payment services are largely coming to the market thanks to the spread of interbank instant payments and the European Union’s Payment Services Directive, PSD2, which comes into force in September and will lay the foundations for open banking. From September the banks will have to share the account information of customers who have given prior agreement with companies looking to bring new financial services to the market, and to allow payments to be initiated from client accounts. Open banking will allow start-ups and fintech companies to start operating in the financial services market, and it will also offer many new opportunities to the banks. The members of the working group at the Estonian Payments Forum found that the most effective way to offer clients new payment solutions would be through the mobile banking services they already use.

For further information:
Eva Vahur
Eesti Pank
668 0965, 5330 0619
Email: eva.vahur [at] eestipank.ee