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EPC launches new SEPA scheme management bodies

The European Payments Council (EPC) is to set up a host of new bodies to manage the Single euro payments area (SEPA) scheme and are calling for independent candidates to join the process. After a 15 year slog, the migration deadline for SEPA credit transfers and direct debits in the euro area finally arrived in August. Now, the EPC is beginning… Continue reading >>

New UK regulator will supervise Visa and MasterCard

The UK government is planning to put supervision of MasterCard and Visa alongside the UK’s main interbank payment systems under the remit of the new Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), which has been tasked with promoting competition within the payments industry. Major payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard, interbank systems such as Bacs, CHAPS, Faster Payments, Link and the cheque… Continue reading >>

Cross Border Acquiring interchange concessions – new risks for acquiring?

The recent card scheme cross border acquiring (CBA) concessions have created a new model for cross-border acquiring. By default they have become the European Commission’s ‘Plan A’ as a result of the delayed cards regulation sign-off. Merchants have once again outmanoeuvred banks and have won major benefits from the interchange caps and the significant changes in the terms of the… Continue reading >>

US debit card interchange cap to remain unchanged

According to news out of the US, the Federal Reserve Board says it will leave its debit card interchange cap for large issuers unchanged despite finding that some of their important expenses either declined last year or had changed little from levels found by an earlier survey. A major retailer trade group said the findings show debit card issuers continue to… Continue reading >>

ECB accelerates SEPA for cards plans

Now that SEPA direct debits and credit transfers are firmly established in Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) is aiming to speed up SEPA for cards. In a new report, the ECB says that attention must now be focused on the harmonisation of cards. In 2012 there were around 40 billion card payments in the EU, compared to 26 million… Continue reading >>

EBA warns of IT risk

The European Banking Authority (EBA) and other EU supervisory authorities have warned banks to reinforce IT controls and audits on third-party technology providers with relation to operational and IT risk. The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) says that concerns over the persistence, intensity and sophistication of information technology-related operational risks and cyber risks at financial institutions have increased since its last biannual… Continue reading >>

Canada nears agreement on lower credit card fees

Joe Oliver, the Canadian Finance Minister, is said to be pressing credit card companies and banks to accept lower credit card fees paid by retailers, which the government claims are among the highest in the world, according to two people familiar with the talks. The government, which flagged the issue in its 2014 budget, wants  MasterCard and Visa to voluntarily curb fees by about… Continue reading >>

Retailers welcome ruling on card fees

UK retailers have today welcomed an historic court ruling to end card fees retailers pay banks to process card payments (known as interchange fees). Today’s judgement by the European Court of Justice comprehensively and decisively supports retailers’ decade-long campaign for a reduction in card fees, which cost, the retailers argue, “UK businesses £1 billion a year, which would otherwise be… Continue reading >>

US Federal Reserve moves towards faster payments

Federal Reserve banks in the US are moving ahead with plans to implement a faster payments system in order to improve the country’s payment infrastructure. The Federal Reserve banks are planning to publish a roadmap in the coming months, having released a consultation paper in September 2013 soliciting comments on gaps and opportunities in the payment system. By the close… Continue reading >>

Bitcoin could be considered legal tender in Australia

Australia’s tax commissioner has indicated that the bitcoin digital currency could be considered legal tender in the country. Several countries around the world are struggling over whether to classify bitcoin as a currency or as a commodity. Speaking at an event last week, the Australian tax commissioner, Chris Jordan, stated there was a push by some proponents to have bitcoin… Continue reading >>