The European Commission has launched a new Green Paper asking stakeholders in the online payments space to recommend suggestions on how to create a fully integrated payments market across the region.
The consultation paper covers the card, internet and mobile payments space in Europe and seeks broad feedback from stakeholders across several areas, according to the Commission.
These include payment security and data protection; technical standards; interoperability between payment service providers; pricing of services; and market access for existing and new providers.
The Commission said it is vital to discover how to solve the problems identified in these areas so that the benefits can materialise in "a reasonable time frame".
Internal market and services commissioner Michel Barnier argued that there is simply too much market fragmentation in Europe at the moment.
"Secure, efficient, competitive and innovative electronic payments are crucial for consumers, retailers and companies to fully enjoy the benefits of the single market as well as to drive the growth of e-commerce," he said.
"The consultation we are launching today is fully in line with the Commission's mandate focusing on growth and job creation and building on the achievements already made in the field of retail payments."
Vice president Joaquín Almunia added that current fragmented and inefficient systems raise the cost of transactions and undermine the global competitiveness at a time when the economies of Europe can least afford it.
The news comes as the Commission announced plans to double e-commerce sales and the internet's contribution to European GDP by 2015.
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