EC confirms that TARGET scheme will be reviewed following failure in uptake


The financial services arm of the European Commission is reported to be reviewing, whether to implement new regulatory requirements that will help drive take-up of its ‘TARGET’ instant payment system launched last November by the European Central Bank.

Seeking to bolster European member states transactional frameworks and operating capacities, the ECB launched its TARGET instant payment system, seen as a direct challenge to processing services offered US incumbents such as Visa, Mastercard and Paypal.

Supported by the existing Euro SEPA instant credit facility, the TARGET system allows European consumer/businesses to processes instant payments within a matter of seconds without the transactions being delayed by regional banking procedures, technicalities or authorisations.

From its development-to-launch, TARGET has been sold to European business stakeholders as a service which will improve cross-border payment settlements, leading to further streamlined European business processes.

However, in recent updates, the ECB details that European banking incumbents have been slow to take-up the new instant payment system and further offering € facilities to national merchants.

Valdis Dombrovskis VP of EU Commission Financial Services unit, confirmed that TARGET’s launch and take-up strategy were being reviewed.

 “We are reflecting on whether a stronger regulatory push would be needed to speed up this process. In a few years, we want Europe to set new global standards for payments technology,”