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Nets and Worldline takes stakes in bank-backed rival to Visa and Mastercard

Worldline and Nets have become shareholders in the European Payments Initiative, a bank-backed joint venture that aims to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa.

Backed by 16 major Eurozone banks, the European Payments Initiative (EPI) is striving to create a unified pan-European payment system, offering a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments.

Expected to enter the operational phase in 2022, the coalition established the EPI Interim Company in Brussels in July, with the intention of setting out clear deliverables including the completion of the technical and operational roadmap.

Worldline and Nets are the first non-banks to sign up to the scheme as shareholders, and discussion are underway with other third-party acquirers and strategic stakeholders in the payments ecosystem.

Bo Nilsson, group CEO of Nets, comments: “The European Payments Initiative will benefit the entire payments ecosystem in Europe. All stakeholders including issuers, acquirers, merchants and ultimately the end-consumers will gain from a strong and truly European digital payment solution.”

The EPI Interim Company hass also announced the appointment of Dr. Joachim Schmalzl from the German Savings Bank Association as chairman and Oliver Wyman partner Martina Weimert as CEO.

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