ACH’s (Automated Clearing Houses) or CSM’s (Clearing & Settlement Mechanisms) perform a central function in the payments value chain.

With the advent of SEPA, the former national kingdoms are gradually being replaced by the opportunity of a wider European marketplace. This causes consolidation in the market, even though the consolidation has not occurred to the extent it was expected some years ago. The biggest new development is the fast rise of Instant Payments. Already common outside the Eurozone, and in many countries globally, it is now also gaining momentum within the Eurozone.
Other main developments are the convergence of processing platforms for cards and payments, on corporate governance and strategy and on a technical level; and the emergence, supported by regulatory pressure (PSD2) of Open Banking with API-based ecosystems allowing new categories of lightly regulated Fintech’s to become new players in the payments value chain.
To the extent that incumbent ‘local’ service providers offer the needed services, platform connectivity, and pan-European reach they will have increasing opportunities to grow beyond traditional domestic borders.

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