Friday, June 29, 2007

Dutch migration & transition scenario for SEPA published

See the article here and the transition plan (in English) here.

Essentially it describes that Dutch banks will slowly start moving towards SEPA without committing to a firm deadline. Banks stress that they will not give in to political pressure to phase out instruments quickly, but prefer a gradual migration allowing time to judge developments and develop alternatives for current domestic products. In 2009 banks and stakeholders will have a further look to determine the exact future of the domestic products. For the debit-card system PIN, this means that it will stick around for some more years; thus allowing a smooth transition. Both banks and retailers explain to the media that they're happy with this decision. And the same goes for bill payment mechanisms as acceptgiro and the e-purse Chipknip.

Meanwhile the retailer lobby against banks and credit-cards continues with a new set of questions in parliament, this time about the liability shift that accompanies the migration to EMV. And once more the whole SEPA-developments are misused by retailers to complain about regular price shifts and incentive structures in the market. It is getting to become a bit boring, although one must applaud the retailers' lobbying power (considering that over the last months I think there have been three instances where almost literal retailer complaints were fed to MP's to demand a reply by the Minister of Finance).

Banks in the mean time try to explain to the public that yes, due to the new regulations in payments (which demands more clarity in pricing structures) there will be visible price increases in the future. But they refuse to be blamed for this, given that - as the Minister of Finance explains - it is the desire and effort of all EU politicians and EU parliament to increase efficiency in payments by means of more transparent, cost-oriented and transaction based pricing.