Cross-border payments in the EU - a BusinessEurope position paper
- We welcome the European Commission’s commitment to the creation of a single market in the financial services area, including the aim of creating an integrated market for payments. The free flow of capital is a fundamental pillar of the EU Single Market. It must be maintained and enhanced where possible to ensure the efficient functioning of capital markets throughout Europe. A prerequisite for achieving a free flow of capital is to ensure that cross-border transactions within the EU can be completed efficiently and for a low-cost across all Member States to strengthen intra-EU trade.
- We are concerned that some EU countries still face major costs and obstacles on cross-border transactions particulary in euros, which stand in the way of a deepening of the internal market. Equalized fees for EU cross-border transactions will provide savings and benefits to the European economy, all end-users including any company involved in cross-border economic activities. The equalization of prices would benefit SMEs in particular, since they often do not have bank accounts nor the bargaining power to negotiate specific favorable fees.
- The Commission’s efforts to explore how currency conversion rates and fees can be made more transparent, particularly in the context of Dynamic Currency Conversion, are steps in the right direction. Transparency is a critical concern in the development of the payments market across the EU. We welcome the Commission exploring more competition in currency conversion to ensure that currency conversion rates are transparent and that consumers, particularly growing businesses, can identify the most advantageous currency conversion offer.
Key facts and figures
- The value of exports (most traded goods) between Member States was EUR 2.978 billion in 2016 (Source: Eurostat)
- 98 % of companies trading goods within the EU are SMEs.
- In detail, SMEs account for 51% of intra-EU imports and 45% of intra-EU exports. (Source: Eurostat)