PSP Leaders Confirmed For Digital Euro Rulebook Group

February 20, 2023
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The European Central Bank has nominated members for the Rulebook Development Group for a digital euro, which features representatives from the payments and electronic money sectors.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has nominated members for the Rulebook Development Group for a digital euro, which features representatives from the payments and electronic money sectors.

The Rulebook Development Group, which includes professionals from the private and public sector, will contribute to the drafting of a digital euro scheme rulebook.

The group will hold monthly meetings, starting in February, which will be led by the chair of the Rulebook Development Group, Christian Schäfer.

The Rulebook Development Group’s work will build on the design decisions for a digital euro taken by the Governing Council.

The ECB said that drafting of the rulebook will be “sufficiently flexible” to accommodate possible future adjustments depending on the outcome of the planned public consultation and legislative proposal, among other things.

Overall, the group is composed of 22 senior professionals from the public and private sector with experience in finance and payments. The European Commission, which is due to introduce legislation this spring, will participate as an observer.

Ralf Ohlhausen, who chairs the European Third Party Providers Association, is one of those sitting on the panel. Ohlhausen works as an advisor to companies including PPRO and Tink and is a member of the ECB’s Market Infrastructure Board, which is responsible for the day-to-day management of payment systems such as TARGET2.

“I will be representing the perspective and interests of TPPs, which, like all licensed PSPs, are foreseen as intermediaries in the digital euro scheme,” Ohlhausen told VIXIO.

“The essence of TPPs is to provide value-added services to end-users, independent of who is servicing their accounts and holding the commercial bank or electronic money therein, and I would like to ensure that the same will be enabled for central bank money accounts and wallets.”

Ohlhausen continued to note that unlike the other types of payment service providers (PSPs), third-party providers (TPPs) are neither issuing any form of money themselves, nor servicing any private money accounts. “Therefore, TPPs can see a digital euro purely as an opportunity for expanding the potential and reach of electronic payments,” he said.

“A digital euro would allow more, and hopefully all EU citizens making electronic payments, which are the basis of TPP services, so we have a vested interest in the success of a digital euro.”

Other panel members include Hartwig Gerhartinger, who will represent the European Payment institutions Federation (EPIF), home to members such as American Express, Amazon and Western Union. Gerthartinger also heads up global regulatory affairs at Paysafe.

Manfred Richels, managing director of transaction banking at UniCredit, will participate on behalf of the European Payments Council; Alessandro Agnoletti, who heads up digital currency work at Nexi, will represent acquirers via the European Digital Payments Industry Alliance (EDPIA); and Thaer Sabri, Electronic Money Association chief, will speak on behalf of e-money institutions.

Other prominent trade associations involved in the group include the European Banking Federation and BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation.

The ECB’s announcement comes with the caveat: “The establishment of this group does not prejudge any decision to issue a digital euro that may need to be taken later.”

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