Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hey fool ! Don't become a money mule: unique prevention campaign of Dutch banks

The Netherlans Bankers' Association has today launched a unique prevention campaign to alert the public not to become a money mule in the hands of criminals. In a viral-style campaign 3 films are visible on a website that mocks the easy-money style job offerings a that are all around on the web (become our money transfer agent and earn 10% commission).

Most certainly for banks this is a highly unusal and innovative approach, executed in close collaboration with the national police authorities and the Ministry of Justice. The main goal: prevention and increasing the awareness with the public that becoming a money mule will damage your financial career.

The pay-off: hey fool, don't become a money mule .... should work in other countries as well...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ING first to announce SEPA strategy for cards/terminals - all brands allowed

Yesterdays Telegraaf contained some interesting news. ING has announced that it will sell POS-terminals and contracts to retailers which accept V-Pay, Maestro and PIN, all for the low price of todays PIN-transaction. Only one condition applies: it should be an EMV compliant terminal.

Well, this is exactly what retailers wished: clarity on future prices and terms and conditions. So one would think that would now be happy.... but are they...?

Well, no of course. The instant that a retailer gets the prices and desires he wants, he assumes that he has insufficiently bargained and that there is more left to bargain for. And he will immediately start negotiating for another round of fee cuts or what have you.

Likewise in the Dutch situation. In their reply to the ING announcement the retailers didn't spend any second complimenting ING on their vision, their fee structure or on fulfilling their previous demand. The next complaint in line is now that they find it intolerable that on the issuing side (which is completely not their concern) the PIN technology is based on magstripe and the other brands on EMV. In their view PIN should move to chip-based PIN as well....

To be continued.... I would say... until banks decide to stop participating in this retailer bargaining game.

Friday, January 04, 2008

van Hove's take on the Commission flawed interchange decision

Amidst all the political noise on the interchange decision of the Commission it is good to also see that some academics still see the whole picture and have the courage to challenge politicians where it hurts. See this article by Leo van Hove and more particularly his closing remark:

So if regulating one payment instrument can have unintended repercussions on substitutes, and a prohibition of interchange fees would be a leap in the dark, what are enlightened policy makers to do? They could simply try to ensure that market forces work, and in particular that merchants cannot be locked in by card networks. To that end, retailers should be allowed to "surcharge" and pass on interchange fees to consumers. Promoting competition among card networks as well as among various payment instruments should also be high on regulators' lists. More generally, we need policy makers who have a comprehensive vision of the future of our payment system -- and who have the political courage to make cash more expensive in order to lower its cost to society.