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Digital transformation of the retail payments ecosystem

ECB and Banca d’Italia joint conference

30 November and 1 December 2017 Rome, Italy


Conference brochure
Thursday, 30 November 2017
Registration and coffee

Welcome remarks

Ignazio Visco, Governor, Banca d'Italia

Introductory speech

Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank


Topic I – Digital evolution of retail payments


Panel discussion: Digital evolution of retail payments – a global scan from a central bank perspective

Innovation-driven developments, such as instant payments, payment initiation services, person-to-person mobile payments and contactless proximity payments, are transforming the retail payments ecosystem. New legal and regulatory requirements also play a role in shaping the future. This high-level panel will discuss the most recent trends in the retail payments landscape from a central bank perspective and bring together experiences from different parts of the world.


  • Veerathai Santiprabhob, Governor, Bank of Thailand
  • Reinaldo Le Grazie, Deputy Governor, Banco Central do Brasil
  • Denis Beau, Deputy Governor, Banque de France
  • Francois E. Groepe, Deputy Governor, South African Reserve Bank
  • Moderator: Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank

Coffee break

Keynote speech: The impact of digital innovation on banking and payments

Chris Skinner, Fintech Commentator and Author


Panel discussion: How to foster innovation and integration in retail payments

Digital transformation in retail payments should give customers access to services that are not only fast and user-friendly, but also safe and cost-efficient. Cooperation and coordination are key to achieving this ultimate goal, as well as to understanding the technological, social and economic factors that drive these developments in the retail payments ecosystem. This policy panel will discuss the impact of digital transformation from both the demand and the supply side.


  • Massimo Cirasino, Global Lead for Payment and Market Infrastructures, World Bank Group
  • Luisa Crisigiovanni, Secretary General, Altroconsumo
  • Elie Beyrouthy, Vice President European Government Affairs, American Express
  • Pierre Petit, Deputy Director General, Market Infrastructure and Payments, European Central Bank
  • Javier Santamaría, Chair, European Payments Council

Moderator: Paolo Marullo Reedtz, Head of the Directorate General for Markets and Payment Systems, Banca d’Italia

Lunch break

Academic session: On the way to a digital retail payments ecosystem – drivers and inhibitors

This academic session will analyse the digital evolution of retail payments in the light of innovations such as instant payments and digital currencies. It will also draw lessons from past experience and identify facilitating and inhibiting factors.

Are instant retail payments becoming the new normal?

Draft paper for discussion Presentation

Lola Hernandez (co-authors Monika E. Hartmann, Mirjam Plooij and Quentin Vandeweyer), European Central Bank

The future of digital retail payments in Europe: a role for central bank issued crypto cash?

Draft paper for discussion Presentation

Ruth Wandhöfer, Cass Business School, City University London


Discussant: Päivi Heikkinen, Head of Cash Department, Suomen Pankki

Moderator: Dirk Schrade, Deputy Director General, Payments and Settlement Systems, Deutsche Bundesbank


Topic II – Fintech innovations and retail payments


Keynote speech: fintech innovations – an opportunity or a threat to incumbent banks?

José María Roldán, Chairman and CEO of the Spanish Banking Association and Vice President of the European Banking Federation

Coffee break

Panel discussion: The disruptive potential of fintech innovations for the retail payments ecosystem – a reality check

Much has been said and written about potentially disruptive innovations, such as distributed ledger technologies and virtual currencies. New records in fintech investment are reported on a regular basis. But what will be the impact on the retail payments ecosystem in the medium to long term? Will fintech simply improve existing processes and allow existing providers to make their services more efficient, or is there disruption on the horizon? This panel will discuss the impact of fintech on the retail payments ecosystem by bringing together the experience of fintech investors, payment innovators and public authorities.


  • Petra Hielkema, Division Director Payments and Market Infrastructure, De Nederlandsche Bank
  • Rupert Keeley, Senior Vice President and General Manager for PayPal EMEA, CEO of PayPal Europe
  • Pietro Sella, CEO Gruppo Banca Sella – Banca Sella Holding
  • Marcus Treacher, Global Head of Strategic Accounts, Ripple

Moderator: Pēteris Zilgalvis, Head of Startups and Innovation, DG Connect, European Commission

End of conference day 1
Friday, 1 December 2017

Topic II – Fintech innovations and retail payments


Academic keynote speech: Distributed ledger technologies in payments – strengths, weaknesses and a possible way forward

Silvio Micali, Ford Professor of Engineering, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory


Academic session: fintech innovations in retail payments – awareness, adoption and usage

This academic session will offer a reality check on the awareness, adoption and usage of fintech innovations among payers and payees and draw lessons based on experience with digital currencies.

What drives virtual currency adoption by retailers?

Draft paper for discussion Presentation

Nicole Jonker, De Nederlandsche Bank

Bitcoin awareness and usage in Canada

Draft paper for discussion Presentation

Kim P. Huynh (co-authors Christopher S. Henry and Gradon Nicholls), Bank of Canada


Discussant: Daniel Heller, Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Moderator: Domenico Gammaldi, Head of The Market and Payment System Oversight Directorate, Banca d’Italia

Coffee break

Topic III – Challenges and opportunities of digitalisation


Panel discussion: The interoperability challenge – let a thousand flowers bloom, while avoiding fragmentation

As proprietary retail payments solutions compete for market share, there is a risk of fragmentation and lack of interoperability, which will hamper payments efficiency on both a domestic and a cross-border level. Avoiding such a scenario is therefore a main focus for all stakeholders. This panel will discuss the experience and challenges of interoperability from the perspective of different regions around the globe.


  • Marc Bayle de Jessé, Director General Market Infrastructure and Payments, European Central Bank
  • Simone Del Guerra, Global Head of Transactional Sales, UniCredit
  • Shuji Kobayakawa, Associate Director General, Bank of Japan
  • Sean Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and Faster Payments Strategy Leader, Federal Reserve System

Moderator: Lorenza Martinez Trigueros, Director General, Banco de México


Academic session: customer choice and behaviour in the light of increasing digital payment options

This academic session will offer insights into the payment instruments customers choose by analysing payment data from retailers and payment behaviour in some of the world’s largest economies.

Cash and cards vs. smartphone? – Outcomes of a comparative study on retail payment behaviour in China and Germany

Draft paper for discussion Presentation

Jan Lukas Korella, Deutsche Bundesbank

What can we learn about payment choice from seeing all retail transactions?

Draft paper for discussion Presentation

Tamás Ilyés (co-author Lóránt Varga), Magyar Nemzeti Bank


Discussant: Björn Segendorf, Adviser, Sveriges Riksbank

Moderator: Morten Linnemann Bech, Head of Secretariat, Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures

Lunch break

Academic session: The interplay between the regulatory framework and payment innovations

This academic session will analyse the impact of regulatory requirements, such as customer authentication and access to payment accounts, on the demand and the supply side.

Innovation in customer authentication methods, card-based internet payments and user experience: empirical evidence from Italy

Final paper for discussion Presentation

Guerino Ardizzi, Banca d’Italia

Payments data: do consumers want to keep them in a safe or turn them into gold?

Paper for discussion Presentation

Carin van der Cruijsen, De Nederlandsche Bank

Discussant: Michael Salmony, Executive Adviser, equensWorldline

Moderator: Carlos Conesa, Director Payment Systems Department, ‎Banco de España


Keynote speech: cyber security – the balance between cooperation and regulation

Fabio Panetta, Member of the Governing Board and Deputy Governor, Banca d’Italia


Panel discussion: Cyber security – how to protect the retail payments ecosystem and build trust

Digital transformation presents both challenges and opportunities. One such challenge is the increased risk caused by cyber criminals in the light of ever-growing digitalisation. More frequent and sophisticated cyber attacks make retail payments infrastructures, payment service providers and end users vulnerable. To ensure cyber resilience in a network industry such as payments, cooperation at a broad strategic level is required, together with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders. This panel will explore how to ensure that the retail payments ecosystem is resilient to cyber threats.


  • Gottfried Leibbrandt, Chief Executive Officer, Swift
  • Fabio Ugoste, Head of Information Security and Business Continuity Sub-Department, Intesa Sanpaolo
  • Javier Perez, President, Mastercard Europe
  • Tan Yeow Seng, Chief Cyber Security Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore
  • Joachim Wuermeling, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Bundesbank

Moderator: Jan Smets, Governor, Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique


Closing remarks

Fabio Panetta, Member of the Governing Board and Deputy Governor, Banca d’Italia

End of conference

The conference will be held in English language. Participation is by invitation only. This programme may be subject to change without notice.

Call for Papers information


This conference is the fifth in the series of high-profile retail payments conferences organised by the European Central Bank (ECB) in cooperation with a national central bank. These retail payments conferences have proven to be an excellent platform for bringing together market participants, policymakers, regulators and researchers to share experiences, research and policy analysis. This time, the conference will be co-hosted by the ECB and the Banca d’Italia and will focus on “The Digital Transformation of the Retail Payments Ecosystem”.


The retail payments ecosystem is undergoing material changes due to potentially disruptive technologies, new legal and regulatory requirements, innovative business models, new market entrants and changes in customer behaviour. These developments have the potential to foster competition among payment service providers (traditional ones and “FinTechs” alike), improve efficiency and drive innovation. Some of the most relevant developments in retail payments in Europe and beyond are instant payments, payment initiation services, person-to-person mobile payments, and contactless proximity payments. Digital currencies and distributed ledger technologies are still in their infancy, but they have the potential to substantially change the payments industry. In this context, the involvement and cooperation of relevant stakeholders are key to ensure the alignment of strategic objectives in a network industry such as the retail payments industry. The Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), which includes high-level representatives from both the demand and supply sides of this market and is chaired by the ECB, fosters the creation of an integrated, innovative and competitive market for euro retail payments in the European Union and deals with a range of topics that will facilitate the digital transformation of the retail payments ecosystem in Europe.

However, digital transformation brings challenges as well as opportunities. As proprietary (and in particular innovative) retail payment solutions compete for market share, there is a risk of fragmentation and a lack of interoperability. Avoiding the emergence of fragmentation in the European retail payments market is therefore an important point for the attention of all European stakeholders. Enhancing retail payment interoperability within countries and across borders is therefore high on the agenda, not only in Europe but also in many other countries and regions across the globe, as interoperability can contribute to increasing the efficiency of cross-border payments. Another focal point is the increased cyber risk in such a growing digital ecosystem. Retail payment infrastructures, payment service providers and end-users can be vulnerable to cyber attacks, which may become more frequent and sophisticated and require cooperation at a broad strategic level in order to effectively address potential security risks.

Objective of the conference

Exploiting the opportunities and mastering the challenges of the digital transformation requires a good understanding of the technological, social and economic factors that drive these developments in the retail payments ecosystem. The digital transformation of the retail payments ecosystem should ultimately give end-customers access to retail payment services that are not only fast and user-friendly, but also safe and cost-efficient. The objective is to improve authorities’, academics’ and practitioners’ understanding of how the digital transformation affects the retail payments ecosystem and to identify possible future developments and dynamics.

Conference themes – call for papers

The conference organisers invite authors – whether from academia, public authorities (including central banks), special interest groups or the private sector – to submit policy-oriented, theoretical and/or empirical papers. These papers should be original and clearly focus on digital retail payments, by covering at least one of the following three related themes:

Theme 1: Digital transformation of retail payments – instant payments, payment initiation services, mobile payments and digital wallets

  • Economic effects and the impact on traditional retail payment business models of payment infrastructures, schemes and service providers
  • User expectations and the adoption of innovative payment solutions
  • Impact of instant payments on service providers and customers (e.g. in terms of settlement risk or liquidity management)
  • Impact of regulatory changes (in particular the implementation of the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and payment initiation services) on incumbent retail payment service providers and new competitors

Theme 2: Transformation fostered by technological innovation – distributed ledger technologies, virtual currencies and evolution of correspondent banking

  • Potential impact of distributed ledger technologies in general – and restricted versus unrestricted networks in particular – on the payment market structure and business models (e.g. traditional correspondent banking and cross-border payments, centralised payment infrastructures and legacy financial telecommunication networks) and the associated challenges
  • The future of digital currencies (central bank-issued digital currencies, developments in the field of virtual currencies)

Theme 3: Challenges and opportunities of digitalisation

a) Innovation, competition and interoperability

  • Role played by FinTechs in increased competition and innovation in retail payments
  • Cooperation versus competition and interoperability in the field of digital payments (e.g. anti-trust and business implications, timing and market concentration considerations for authorities)

b) Compliance, security and privacy

  • Potential of FinTech and “RegTech” innovations to meet anti-money laundering and know your customer requirements and effectively prevent fraud
  • Cyber security challenges, cyber resilience of retail payment infrastructures, quantum computing and cryptography
  • Role of trust in end-user acceptance of digital payments
  • Use of big data and social networks for retail payments (e.g. targeted marketing, data privacy)

Extended abstracts of around 1,000 words (or preferably completed papers) should be in English. Each submission should include an abstract and the name and email address of a nominated author who could present the content or specific aspects of the paper. The deadline for submissions of extended drafts/papers is 1 May 2017. Papers should be sent by email in PDF format to the following two email addresses: payments-conference-2017@ecb.europa.eu and payments-conference-2017@bancaditalia.it.

Selection process and conference participation

All extended abstracts/papers submitted on time will be reviewed by the conference organisation committee with respect to their quality and broadness of interest/policy relevance, while also ensuring an overall balance of topics, stakeholder interests and approaches. The authors will be informed by the end of July 2017 as to whether or not their papers have been accepted. If a paper is accepted for presentation and discussion at the conference, the authors must submit a final draft of the paper no later than 1 October 2017. Authors also agree to have the submitted paper published on the conference website and to revise it based on discussion at the conference. Accepted and updated academic papers can be submitted for inclusion in the Banca d’Italia Discussion Papers following the conference. Travel and accommodation costs can be reimbursed for one academic speaker per accepted paper.