Thursday, January 12, 2006

PBS acquires PBS International ... the road to SEPA?

Just a week ago, PBS announced that is buying PBS International, explaining that SEPA is coming and that this is part of a move to anticipate consolidation in the European processing market. Whilst the latter argument may receive most attention, it is the first that may actually be most relevant.

We should recognize that the road to SEPA is paved with good intentions such as in development in the SEPA Cards Framework (nobody knowing exactly what to think of it). The thing that is clear however is that ECB will stick to its 'demands' to ensure that all payment cards can be accepted at all terminals.

If that demand would really stick the only sensible solution for the Danish would be to abolish the local card brands and go international. And in that case Danish banks could better own PBS international (and so influence achieving the SEPA Cards goal) than try sell it to the highest bidder.