Request-to-Pay in nutshell

SEPA Request-to-Pay(R2P) is new standardized and real-time messaging layer on top of European financial infrastructure. R2P is use case agnostic and payment method agnostic. SEPA Request-to-Pay is not a payment method nor a e-invoicing method.

What is a messaging layer? What is stands for?

What is the difference between payment method and message layer? Visa and Mastercard are global messaging layers. They are now moving into more use case agnostic and more real-time even they are originally designed and built-in last century for plastic cards. Message layer connects payee and payer, buyer and seller, customer, and merchant.

Road network is the messaging layer for truck companies and bus companies. Without existing road infrastructure, it would be close to impossible to start a truck company. Of course, you could build MVP with one road that connects one factory and one store. Getting 50-billion-euro investment for building road infrastructure would be quite difficult next phase.

Sadly, we have seen number of payment startups repeating this same failure. It is easy to design and build a new more convenient and cool payment method. It is multi-billion-euro task to create an acceptance network for a new payment method without utilizing some existing messaging layer. Thus, almost all new payment methods are utilizing Visa and Mastercard networks. Prior attempts to create European payment schemes (payment card scheme, mobile payment scheme, e-invoicing scheme) have failed because there have not been any existing politically and functionally acceptable messaging layers to utilize.

SRTP is the missing piece of puzzle. It works as a foundation for European payment services and payment schemes and European e-invoicing services and e-invoicing schemes.

R2P is good for all parties

R2P is differentials for all existing messaging layers. It is beneficial for all parties, for customer, for merchant, for bank and for payment service provider.

R2P for Customers (Payer)

Payment methods using R2P is not complicated or suspicious. Payment experience is smooth one-click redirection to customer´s own familiar and trusted mobile banking app. Payment is real-time account transfer happening immediately or on due date dependent on use case. Customer benefits value-added services of her/his own bank on top of payment request.

R2P for Merchants (Payee)

R2P based payment methods and e-invoicing services are not expensive and has no fraud. Customer authentication and approval of payment and received e-invoices happens always on customer´s mobile banking app. Customer adds IBAN only once. Payment service provider stores IBAN securely. R2P suits for all use cases and can be utilized together with latest tech innovations: the start of the payment process can be double-clicked to earbuds, blink of an eye to smart glasses, biometrical identification, voice command or on chat-bot interaction.

R2P for Banks

Providing of R2P-services to consumer customers and corporate customer is not mandatory for banks. To join the R2P scheme and to start offering R2P-services is great business decision for banks. R2P makes it possible for banks to create new revenue streams by launching new services and by entering new business areas. Entering to R2P-business is classical no-brainer decision for banks.

Bank may offer variety of existing payment methods to its customers for accepting and paying the received request-to-pay -message. Offered payment methods could be based on customer, amount, merchant etc. Bank can offer any payment methods it has and make new partnerships with payment providers to provide broader selection of payment methods such as customers credit card, different BNPL –payment methods (consumer credit, instalments etc.) and maybe even offer selected customers option to pay with different cryptocurrencies and digital currencies.

Best time and place for customer to choose right payment method is when customer has the R2P -message on front of his/her eyes on mobile banking app as visualized on picture below.


Picture 1. Illustration of received request-to-pay message on customer´s mobile banking app.

There are also other relevant new business opportunities for banks such as entering e-Invoicing business with R2P and offering premium API for corporate customers, SME customers and financial system providers to send and receive R2P-messages.

SEPA Request-to-Pay today and in future

SEPA Request-to-Pay is not live yet. It will go live after summer 2023. As normal it takes some time (some years) for banking community to take the first step. Even as 27 of largest banks have funded the development of this great and very relevant and needed innovation. First movers will cause a snowball effect.

We, Pine & Cone Oy, are the first fully SEPA Request-to-Pay ready company. We have both the certified tech and the needed licenses. We offer our R2P services for banks, PSP´s, e-Invoicing operators, platforms, and corporates. We have secured number of customer and together we motivate and push banks to take the first step.

We are fully confident that SEPA Request-to-Pay will become a de facto European rail for payments and e-Invoices. 

We estimate that in 2026 all banks operating in the SEPA-area and hundreds of PSP´s have joined the scheme and launched R2P-services. That time R2P have also replaced several local and domestic account-to-account payment services and e-invoicing services.

In 2028 R2P will be the most popular everyday account-to-account payment method on e-commerce and in-app, and the most popular business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) e-invoicing method for both domestic and cross-border use cases. The standard has been updated annual bases to include several great new features such as support for variable recurring payments, buy-now-pay-later options, web-link-included to payment request, currency conversions for all European currencies. SEPA Request-to-Pay is integrated to the UK R2P scheme, Nordic countries’ P27-platform and to local R2P schemes in US and Australia. On 2028 there are also several in-store payments concepts in Europe that combine the SRTP with loyalty programs and will provide the best overall experience of buying.