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Payments forum (Forum Zahlungsverkehr)

The world of payments, like many other areas, is being transformed by the growing wave of digitalisation. Contactless payments at the retail point of sale, real-time payment settlement and the trend of using smartphones as bank terminals are but a few examples of innovations in this field. In a bid to build on the achievements of the German SEPA Council, which helped coordinate the recent transition to SEPA, the Bundesbank has now set up the Payments forum – a platform that facilitates dialogue among providers and users of payment services on impending innovations, the design of SEPA 2.0 for digital payment methods and potential areas of conflict.

The Payments forum serves as a national platform for an open exchange of views and opinions, and it liaises with the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB). Besides facilitating interaction, the Payments forum enables participants to explore solutions to a wide range of challenges at the highest level. At their first meeting in Berlin at the beginning of November 2016, the forum members agreed to convene once every six months.

The members of the new Payments forum, which are top-level representatives of both payment providers and payment users, are as follows: the German Retail Federation (Handelsverband Deutschland, HDE), the Federation of German Industries (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie, BDI), the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband, vzbv), the German Insurance Association (Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft, GDV), the Federal Association of Non-statutory Welfare (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Freien Wohlfahrtspflege e.V., BAGFW), the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft, BDEW), the umbrella organisation of German Magazine Publishers (Verband Deutscher Zeitschriftenverleger, VDZ), the central government competence centre for finance and accounting (Kompetenzzentrum für das Kassen- und Rechnungswesen des Bundes, KKR), as well as the National Association of German Cooperative Banks (Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken e.V., BVR), the Association of German Banks (Bundesverband deutscher Banken e.V., BdB), the Association of German Public Banks (Bundesverband Öffentlicher Banken Deutschlands e.V., VÖB), the Federal Association of Payment Institutions (Bundesverband der Zahlungsinstitute, bvzi), the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien e.V., Bitkom) and the German Savings Banks Association (Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband e.V., DSGV). The forum is also attended by representatives from the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) and the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).