Sunday, August 28, 2005

Not too many questions on upcoming Ideal-product

Emerce notes that there are not too many questions for payment service providers on the soon to be introduced internet-payment product: Ideal. Meanwhile discussions on the web focus on the fees to be applied.

Some indications for a large bank...
Entry fee of 100 euro and monthly fee of 40 euro.
Transaction fees of 0,55-0,75 euro.

Meanwhile, wat the public will most likely fail to understand or appreciate is that there will not be uniform banking fees for this product. The fees may vary per bank, per merchant sector etc. This is a reflection of the 'new world' that Dutch banks have entered. In this new world cooperation is no longer the default value; nor are price-agreements (until the mid-80s a commonality for banks).

I'm curious how much time it will cost before the public and the regulatory stakeholders will begin to understand that in this new world, it is no longer useful to ask stuff from all banks collectively...

SMS-alert for credit-card payments

Automatisering Gids reports that ING will introduce an SMS alert service for new cards as well as the old one. As soon as users reach 75% of their spending limit, or spend more than 200 euro, they will receive an SMS. This is to help improve the feeling of control that the user has.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Payments and Settlements News 24

P&S News is out now. This edition has generally got an academic flavour.
Yet, quite interesting is the ESCB view on the EU-Green Paper on financial Services.

Read the following pieces:
In this regard, the Eurosystem agrees that asset management and retail financial services are areas where regulatory intervention at the EU level could be considered. With regard to asset management, the issue as to whether or not a specific regulatory treatment of hedge funds is needed deserves attention. As far as retail financial services are concerned, the Eurosystem recognises that a combination of targeted regulatory actions and a more active application of competition policy could be the way forward. In particular, issues related to bank accounts deserve careful attention as they are the starting-point for the distribution of banking and financial services.


The Eurosystem agrees with the key policy orientation of the Green Paper which focuses on: (i) the consolidation and consistent implementation of the existing legislative framework for financial services to be achieved by exploiting the potential of the existing institutional set-up; and (ii) a better ex-ante and expost
assessment of new legislative initiatives.

What's so interesting about these bits is that the ESCB points out the retail financial services as an area for intervention. At the same time the ESCB subscribes to evidence-based policy making as proposed by the Commission (better regulation). IMHO those two don't really go together, as the ESCB completely fails to provide the argument/evidence for the first statement.

My guess is that the ESCB's self interest is making them want to have a bigger say in the retail financial services domain? Which is a strategy that can only work if you proclaim those services/market as an area that requires intervention. And so we find a completely unbacked (evidence-less) statement on required market intervention in a paper that states that the only way forward for regulators is better ex-ante and expost assessment of new legislative initiatives.

It appears to me that is high time that the ESCB itself prepares evidence-based impact assessments for its own policies.....

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Driving ATM...

The Rabobank has received quite some press with an ATM that is built into a money transport van. The idea is new (at least for the Netherlands).

Thursday, August 11, 2005

First Data acquires Austrian APSS...

Banking Business Review reports that First Data has signed an agreement to fully acquire APSS. Let's see if the same happens as with Encorus.

Encorus was the promising mobile payment entity, also taken over by First Data. Having reviewed the business, First Data announced earlier this week that it will write-off its investment.

Bill has a couple of thousand users

Emerce reports that the MSN-payment system Bill now has about 5000 users. It's often a guy and he is about 29 years old. Each month an amount of 30 euro is spent, mostly on top-ups and sms-messages.

SNS Bank will further use the experience with Bill, the banking buddy, to improve the positioning and expand services.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Mr Duisenberg and the privatization of the Postbank

Yesterday, mr Duisenberg, former President of the European central bank and of the Dutch central bank, former director at Rabobank, former Minister of Finance, deceased. A lot of in memoriams will now appear. But they will most likely forget the role of Duisenberg in the 70s, which has been quite significant to the payment industry.

Being PvdA, Minister of Finance and supporting a privatised Postbank was kind of an interesting combination. When Rabobank asked him to become a director, Duisenberg agreed to this. As a result Rabobank's negative stance on the privatisation of the Postbank then softened. This opened the road towards privitisation of the Postbank (quite some years later) and building towards a national payment circuit in the Netherlands (the two were a package deal).

There is more to tell of course, but not here, not now.