Nexo, the new payment standard with credit cards in Europe

Nexo Standarts is a new international standard that simplifies the cross-border management of bankcard payments in Europe.

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Nexo Standarts, the european payment standard

Nexo Standarts was created in 2014, when three historical contributors to card payment standards and specifications merged: EPASOrg, the OSCar consortium and the CIR SEPA-Fast technical working group. Its head office is based in Brussels and its members represent all card payment stakeholders. This includes acceptors, processors, card schemes, payment service providers and suppliers.

Nexo’s ultimate aim is to simplify card payments in Europe. For now, each country has its own standards, which means that each distributor has to develop its own system for managing payment methods. Hence the creation of the Nexo association, which includes major retailers such as Auchan and Carrefour, as well as payment industry players such as Ingenico, Verifone, Visa, Mastercard and Natixis Payments.

The company is working in particular on the following protocols:

  • Aqcuirer
  • TMS (Terminal Management System),
  • ATM (Automates teller machines),
  • Merchant – Acceptor protocol

This interface acts as a translator to ensure that payments standards can coexist in Europe

The innovative ISO 2022 standard

Nexo is the very first organisation to design and develop card payment messages based on ISO 2022. The dissemination of these universal standards and protocol messages ensures the interoperability of different payment equipments and systems on an international scale.

The aim of ISO 20022 is to ensure the interoperability of financial systems. The standards are available to all those involved in financial services. ISO 20022 provides an innovative modelling methodology that decouples the rules of syntax from the formats of communication messages and their kinematics. The aim is to arrive at a shared collaborative system that standardises exchanges between players while leaving room for competition.

Protocols are registered according to a formal protocol that includes a business justification phase and allocation to a SEG (Standards Evaluation Group). Once the protocol has been developed, it is officially registered by the RA (Registration Authority). ISO 20022 protocols are currently being adopted in all regions of the world.

ISO 20022 includes:

  • Payment: account management, transfers, payment requests, etc.
  • Cards: acquirer, ATM, acquirer to issuer, merchant protocol, etc.
  • Trade
  • Currency exchange
  • Securities

To date, merchants have actively communicated their adoption of nexo. Hardware, software and service solution providers have products that implement Nexo specifications and are developing their communications in this area. Finally, financial institutions are communicating that they are adopting these new international standards.


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