EU Banks discussing pan european direct debit scheme to rival Mastercard & Visa
According to the banking consultancy Lafferty Group, a group of banks including, Société Générale, Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, Commerzbank, Unicredito, ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank are holding discussions to establish a pan-European debit card scheme that would challenge those operated by MasterCard and Visa. The group is believed to be unhappy with the possible emergence of MasterCard’s Maestro as the dominant provider of debit card network services in Europe, particularly following the introduction of the single euro payments area (Sepa) in 2008. The European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) are concerned that competition in the market would be undermined by the emergence of Maestro as the dominant player, particularly as Visa’s rival debit system, V Pay, has yet to gain support from European banks. Lafferty said there is contrasting information on the progress the European banks have made so far.