The payment as a service (PaaS) provider Answer Pay is to connect to EBA CLEARING’s request to pay (R2P) messaging system to offer single euro payments area (SEPA) R2P bill payment services across Europe.
Answer Pay is establishing this connection with the payment infrastructure provider to allow European banks to be able to leverage its pre-built solutions and request to pay services.
R2P is a new form of messaging protocol that intends to make bill payments safer for consumers via banking mobile phone apps. It moves the industry away from insecure pay by link methods to augment payments from mobile texts and emails, creating a two-way dialogue between bill payers and suppliers; often essential when consumers struggle to pay bills and make ends meet.
R2P is primarily aimed at utility providers, councils and government departments but could work to an equal advantage for any business or individual that deals with large numbers of customers paying regular amounts.
Answer Pay’s platform implementation of R2P will allow buyers to control when and how they pay, whilst cutting out cash and cheques for billers with low-cost settlements.
“We launched our R2P messaging service in 2021 thanks to funding from 27 leading banks across 11 countries and based on the SEPA request-to-pay scheme of the European Payments Council,” comments Petra Plompen, R2P programme manager at EBA CLEARING.
“It enables service providers to develop innovative solutions for billers and consumers while relying on Europe-wide standards, rules and infrastructure. We look forward to seeing first propositions emerge over the next year and think that experienced technical providers like Answer Pay—with a track record in delivering R2P implementations—can play an important role in this.”
Advantages of a PaaS approach
Answer Pay’s PaaS platform will provide connectivity to both SEPA and Pay.UK’s R2P. The value of this is that it abstracts the complexity of building and maintaining an R2P service empowering banks and payment service providers to instead focus on the creation of compelling user experiences.
At a time when there is an urgent need for flexible payment services, getting up and running quickly is a key concern for many banks.
“Banks and payment providers want to build compelling and differentiated services,” explains Answer Pay Chairman, Mike Chambers.
“This can be constrained by the reality of big bank roadmaps and funding commitments. We’re able to remove these obstacles and get them set up quickly with SEPA R2P on EBA CLEARING’s R2P infrastructure.”
Right place right time
In the first months of 2022, Europe has seen widespread cost of living increases. This is leading to bill payment anxiety for many families. Options such as direct debits and pre-paid meters work for some families but, for others, these payment vehicles are seen as inflexible and expensive.
Whilst few could have predicted the current economic climate, there does seem to be a right time, right place inevitability for R2P owing to its winning combination of ease of use for billing organisations combined with payment flexibility for consumers.