“Today, platforms have more influence and market power than anyone could have imagined”

“[…]That is, platforms must perform a balancing act with respect to their price structure as well as other policy dimensions; quite generally, they encourage positive externalities and discourage negative ones and to do so usually constrain one side to the benefit of the other.”

Platform-enabled online intermediation of goods and services has dramatically changed the digital economy. Some of the most successful and fastest scaling businesses of the last decade are built on the platform business model. . This way, they underpin the effective functioning of the digital single market and the economic growth of the EU. Online platforms, legally captured under the term of “providers of online intermediation services”, create a plug-and-play infrastructure that enables producers (business users) and consumers to connect and interact with each other in a manner that was not possible in the past. The direct interaction between providers of products and services and customers offers the latter a one-stop-shop for what they want, when they want and in a format they prefer (choice, affordable products, fast delivery). As a result, platforms have become one of the cornerstones of e-commerce and digital markets, helping to reshape the very design of traditional business models and marketing activities.

Under the current form of banking, banks usually act as business users of third-party platforms, for example in order to:

• provide financial services (e.g. consumer credit intermediated through an online comparison platform),
• provide different banking apps via a platform ecosystem,
• interact with customers via social media or voice banking platforms.
However, banks may also serve as online intermediation service providers either in the present or in the future. In that role, a bank could develop and own a digital platform, which could serve as a “digital marketplace” where financial or non-financial products and services could be offered by third-party business users to (the bank’s) customers.

EBF POSITION

The European Banking Federation welcomes the Digital Services Act package, a single set of new rules applicable across the whole EU, which will create a safer and more open digital space, with European values at its centre. Our specific comments on the Commission’s open consultation can be found in our position paper and key messages

EUROPEAN COMMISSION – DIGITAL SERVICES ACT PACKAGE
EUROPEAN COMMISSION: REQUEST TO EBA, EIOPA AND ESMA FOR TECHNICAL ADVICE ON DIGITAL FINANCE AND RELATED ISSUES

EBF DIGITAL THURSDAYS 2021

Competing in Digital Finance: New rules for a new market

Thursday, 4 November 2021
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The second Digital Thursday 2021 focused on the evolving competition landscape in digital financial services and the challenges this poses to the ongoing digital transformation of banking and banks. Access to relevant infrastructure and data, as well as the supervisory framework are key enablers to innovation. The event discussed the importance of ensuring fair competition among participants in the digital market and will offer exchange of views on some of the key policy debates such as the Digital Markets Act, access to and sharing of data, and the role Digital ID can play in this shifting landscape.

EBF DIGITAL THURSDAYS 2020

Tech meets finance: Newcomers in the financial ecosystem

Thursday, 5 November 2020
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With the year 2020 dominated by Covid-19-related restrictions of physical interaction and an increasing relevance of technology and digital interaction for businesses and citizens, legislative initiatives by the European Commission aim at addressing digital transformations in Europe’s economy. Technology actors, i.e. BigTech, are expanding their reach from their core businesses into adjacent industry sectors. In turn, the European market is increasingly facing questions of competition, market conditions and available digital infrastructure. The financial sector is a frontrunner in the application of digital innovation to the benefit of customers and business operations. Consequently, the financial ecosystem met newcomers who – thanks to possible gatekeeper roles –carry significant changes into the known environment of business relations and regulatory framework.

The event provided insights into how European banks, regulators and BigTech companies perceived these changes. With the European Commission’s Digital Services Act coming up, conversations touched upon the role for new ex ante regulation and the protection of fair competition and innovation required for a prosperous Europe.

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