EU banks plan to join instant payments system as they fear Facebook's Libra crypto

Banks in the eurozone region plan to join the real-time payments system by the end of 2020, as they fear Facebook's upcoming cryptocurrency Libra, Reuters reports.

The 19-country region has reportedly had the real-time payments system since 2017, but only about half of the region's banks have joined it. Post Facebook's Libra announcement, banks now feel the heat of competition, according to the report.

"The clock is ticking," Etienne Goosse, director general of the European Payments Council (EPC) was quoted as saying in the report. Goosse said that regardless of Facebook's success with the project, banks need to move more quickly as large tech firms are here to stay.


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"They come with a global solution, under a global brand offering many things that the consumers seem to find wonderful. So we have no time," he said.

Facebook, along with 27 founding partners including Uber and Paypal, recently unveiled a plan for "low-volatility" cryptocurrency Libra, intending to serve the unbanked and facilitate low-fee money transfers globally. Libra is expected to go live sometime next year, but it has already faced scrutiny from central banks and politicians around the world.

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Yogita Khatri is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things crypto. As one of the earliest team members, Yogita has played a pivotal role in breaking numerous stories, exclusives and scoops. With nearly 3,000 articles under her belt, Yogita holds the records as The Block's most-published and most-read author of all time. Prior to joining The Block, Yogita worked at crypto publication CoinDesk and The Economic Times, where she wrote on personal finance. To contact her, email: [email protected]. For her latest work, follow her on X @Yogita_Khatri5.