Member Spotlight: Dutch Payments Association

20 Jan Member Spotlight: Dutch Payments Association

These days, an effective, safe, reliable, and efficient payment system is essential to the success of the financial sector. The Dutch Payments Association, or ‘Betaalvereniging’, is a membership organisation that serves as a safeguard to the national payment system by coordinating the collective tasks of its members. These members include a range of payment service providers in the Netherlands such as banks, payment institutions, and electronic money institutions.

Transparency, openness, and accessibility are values that the Payments Association considers fundamental to the successful achievement of its goals. On behalf of its members, the Dutch Payments Association carries out collective tasks, which relate primarily to the payments infrastructure, industry standards and common product features. An efficient and secure payment system is dependant upon active cooperation with end user representatives. Accordingly, stakeholder management is another essential area of focus.

The Netherlands has a tradition of collaboration between banks and this value underlies the circumstances that led to the establishment of the Payments Association. The creation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), as well as the changing market dynamics brought about by the rise of non-bank payment institutions, led to a need to reassess the structure of the Dutch payments system. Consequently, the Dutch Banking Association and Currence, the organisation that owns national payment schemes iDEAL and Acceptgiro, formed a steering committee in 2010. This committee sought to create a new, collective payment organisation for the Netherlands, and in late 2011, this goal was realised with the establishment of the Dutch Payments Association.

Today, the Payments Association is led by CEO Piet Mallekoote and Deputy General Manager Gijs Boudewijn, and employs 45 professionals and experts working in five teams, namely: Strategy & Public Affairs; Cards, Online & Cash; Giro Payments; Cybersecurity & Risk Management; and Information & Communication. Together these teams organise collective payment services such as card and online payments, SEPA Credit Transfers, and SEPA Direct Debit. In addition, the association manages the collective interests of members such as payment security, accessibility, and the availability of cash, as well as several innovation projects.

Dutch Payments Association CEO Piet Mallekoote: “the Netherlands differs from other European countries in that, historically, we have been quite open to non-banking institutions participating in the payment system. For us, it is clear that these firms are able to provide added value within the payments chain because of their expertise. In other [European] countries, the system tends to be more closed. Accordingly, our strategy is to work together with banks and fintech firms to create an open atmosphere and discover new ways to deliver added value to the end user. ”

Piet Mallekoote, CEO Dutch Payments Association

An important area of focus for the organisation right now is the introduction of the EU’s revised Payment Services Directive, also known as the PSD2. This past year also saw the introduction of a number of new innovative services within the iDEAL framework, including QR-payments and consumer-to-consumer, or C2C-payments. CEO Piet Mallekoote is most excited about iDiN though. iDiN is an abbreviation for the Dutch terms ‘Identiteit’, or identity, and ‘Inloggen’, or login; and, according to Piet is, “the next big thing.” Developed within the existing iDEAL infrastructure, iDiN allows businesses and institutions to reliably identify online customers while also providing a safe and trustworthy online banking interface. With explicit customer consent only a limited set of attributes – name, address, age – is provided through iDIN. In the coming months these attributes will continue to be expanded as iDiN is introduced to the market, for instance with email and/or phone number. Another important service to keep an eye on as it continues to develop over the next few years is instant payments, which Piet says could open up countless new opportunities for fintech firms.

Since joining Holland FinTech in 2015, the Dutch Payments Association has been an active member, and has even hosted two of our regular monthly Meetup events, including our first Meetup of 2017, which was once again a big success. Further collaboration is certainly expected in the future, and both organisations expect to mutually benefit from this continued sharing of knowledge. Piet Mallekoote describes the valuable role that he feels Holland FinTech has played in strengthening the Dutch fintech ecosystem: “You can make a distinction between the national and international scale – [Holland FinTech] is quite active nationally, but also internationally, and this is definitely a very strong point. It has helped to put the Netherlands on the map as a fintech country on a worldwide scale, which is of course also useful for its members, as it helps them to draw more international attention.”