Thursday, September 15, 2005

National payments schemes propose European IP network

See Finextra:
A group of 13 bank-owned payment processors have banded together to explore the possibility of creating a Sepa-compliant IP-based network, bypassing Visa and MasterCard, and enabling cross-border ATM and POS transactions in the eurozone.

Interesting enough, it may be this move towards Europe that could make it impossible to maintain a European experience for consumers. Right now consumers have a cobranded card with a domestic scheme and an international scheme. However, the international brands will not be likely to allow the domestic scheme to reside on the card if this domestic scheme turns out to be international as well.

So, thanks to the pressure of European Regulators, the forward thinking of domestic schemes and the defenses of international card schemes consumers may end up with less pan-European payment facilities on their card rather than more.....

Just another sign that regulators should not pressure cook a market and try to shape it into a specific form (which reminds me too mich of the outdated sixties approach to shaping society in a positive form) but should only take action where basis competition rules are violated...