Innovation and a fairer playing field are defining factors of any industry where standards are prolific. Payments is no exception.

Merchants struggle to resist vendor lock-in, which leaves them prohibited by, and vulnerable to, high costs. An open, standardized market lets vendors compete on equal terms, meaning merchants get a fairer deal and vendors are encouraged to deliver more innovative, competitive offerings.

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Card payments are king in retail. So whether "card present" transactions, digital wallets or "card on file," having one global card payment acceptance system standardizing this exchange of payment information multilaterally can deliver huge benefits for all players in the ecosystem.

We can think of ISO 20022 as the lingua franca for the whole financial ecosystem, a universal messaging language for all kinds of transactions, including those performed with cards.

Standardization is the tool to help merchants achieve simplicity, efficiency and true consolidation in the payments market in a complex domain. The collaborative power of industry standards bodies puts the various needs of the ecosystem’s players on equal terms.

By working toward a vision of a borderless, interoperable global payments system, the industry can empower itself to keep tackling its challenges quickly and efficiently, while breaking down the fragmentation that’s holding it back.

Normand Provost

Normand Provost is liaison chair of Nexo.