The European Payments Area is a magnificent project, long and complex to implement, but it opens up major prospects for our European payments industry, and in particular for the French industry, which is one of its finest jewels. Europe certainly suffers from a number of handicaps that will have to be resolved quickly. However, with the instant payment system taking off, with the bank card being renovated and with the European payment system in the making, we have a great work in front of us.

We are facing an exceptional situation, with widespread awareness at the level of European and French public authorities of the threat from Gafa (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), big tech and international schemes, but also the opportunity that arises with the arrival at the helm of European administrative and financial governance of new players, all of whom are aware of the stakes, the risks and the heavy task ahead of them, as well as the importance of not contenting themselves with small steps, but setting ambitious and daring objectives, and with the will to assert European sovereignty.

This European ambition presupposes strong and long-term decisions, such as on the new European payment system, or on digital identity, or even digital currency; and also some major developments such as industrial, or even banking, consolidation to form large PSPs (payment service providers, Editor’s note) and to mature a few unicorns. It also presupposes a new long-term economic model and a change in European competition policy.

Without these developments, Europe will not be able to withstand the tide of international bigthech and could find itself relegated to second place in global competition in payments. We should therefore act quickly and decisively.

These will be the major themes of the 8th Annual Meetings of France Payments Froum, to be held in Paris on 3 March.