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American Express loses antitrust lawsuit – appeal imminent

The longtime chief executive of American Express,Kenneth Chenault, refused for years to settle an antitrust case with the US government, vowing to fight even as the company’s top rivals cut deals. This long term strategy has now proven ill advised as the company has lost its anti trust lawsuit. On Thursday, a US District Court judge sided with the Justice Department,… Continue reading >>

The future of payments: A European Commission view

“Everything changes but change itself. You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and yet others go flowing ever on,” observed Heraclitus of Ephesus (circa 535 – 475 before common era). This certainty is the live bait that provokes analysts to release imagination and engage in scenario building to explain how, in their view, the future could… Continue reading >>

EPC publish SEPA Direct Debit rulebook update

The European Payments Council (EPC), representing the European banking industry in relation to payments, today published a further iteration of the SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) Rulebooks, i.e. the SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0 and the SDD Business to Business (B2B) Rulebook version 7.0. The SDD Core Rulebook version 9.0, the SDD B2B Rulebook version 7.0 and associated implementation guidelines will… Continue reading >>

EU agree caps on debit and credit card interchange fees

Following the release of the final compromise text for the proposed Regulation on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions (the MIF Regulation) on 19 January 2015, European countries have finally endorsed the legislation (21 January 2015). The European Commission originally proposed the MIF Regulation in July 2013, but it has taken considerable time for the various EU governments and the… Continue reading >>

Supreme Court rejects debit card interchange challenge

The Supreme Court handed US banks a victory as it declined to consider a challenge by a group of retailers to Federal Reserve regulations setting fees for processing debit-card transactions, debit card interchange. The high court’s action on Tuesday, which came in a brief written order, removes uncertainty for the banking industry by ending a three-year federal court battle over… Continue reading >>

UK banking body moves to regulate bitcoin

During 2014 we saw several occasions of significant political figures from the UK having a bitcoin friendly stance – is this all set to change in 2015. UK Shadow Minister Chi Onwurah and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne both showed their appreciation towards the potential of bitcoin. Osborne in specific commissioned the Treasury to produce a programme of work on cryptocurrencies. It looked like UK politics were… Continue reading >>

Google sues Visa and MasterCard over interchange

Google is suing Visa and MasterCard over the card networks’ interchange fees, with the internet and tech giant claiming that they have violated federal antitrust law. Google has filed the lawsuit in the Texas federal court, alleging that Visa and MasterCard charged “supracompetitive” interchange fees between 1 January 2004 and 28 November 2012. Google’s lawsuit asks for “actual damages” but… Continue reading >>

Do we need a new EU network for EU payments interoperability?

Suddenly the key EU’s stakeholders (ECB/EC) are talking again about technical payments interoperability and new payments networks.  Many may ask why, for they have struggled over 10 years to fully understand EU market dynamics.  Surely, the regulators simplistically ask, we can make our 28 domestic networks more efficient and create a common infrastructure to enable any scheme and any payment… Continue reading >>

EU agrees caps on debit and credit card interchange fees

Interchange fees to process debit and credit card transactions are to be capped under an EU law that attempts to wrap-up a protracted battle with payment groups such as Visa Europe and MasterCard. Negotiators for EU member states and the European Parliament on Wednesday night agreed draft terms to introduce maximum fees to handle card transactions, scaling back a multi… Continue reading >>

ECB to address instant payments in euro

In its second meeting, on 1 December 2014, the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), a multi-stakeholder group chaired by the European Central Bank (ECB), decided to step up work on the topics of instant payments in euro, and person-to-person mobile payments and contactless payments. Taking stock of the migration to the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), the ERPB also issued a… Continue reading >>