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Payments Update: Rows and new technologies drive the industry forward

Payment systems continue to be a hotbed of innovation and sheer power plays. Recent examples show the pressures and opportunities from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Card fees

The cost of card fees is continuing to increase. In March, EuroCommerce published an economic study reflecting a substantial input from our members’ experience of dealing with card fees. The study found that the card schemes have been steadily increasing the unregulated fees imposed on retailers, thereby substantially reducing the intended benefits to merchants and consumers, of the Interchange Fee Regulations.

Interchange is a real bone of contention and it is getting worse:

  • MasterCard is defending a £14 billion claim in the supreme court in the UK. In this trial the UK consumer group Which? is intervening (Which they do rarely) because, five years after the act was introduced, no claims have yet been allowed to proceed to trial.
  • Visa is introducing new interchange structures in the USA and is planning a worldwide roll-out, see

And now the European Commission is planning to report on the application of the IFR, in the coming weeks. No wonder EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren is pressing the European Commission to act on the growing problems facing retailers and wholesalers resulting from the limited scope of Interchange Fee Regulation.

UK retail payments industry acts to ensure Covid-19 support payments are made safely and at scale

Organisations central to the UK’s retail payments Industry have joined forces so additional payments needed as a consequence of Covid-19 from Universal Credit accounts, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are delivered safely, at scale and to the right people.

The new arrangements include:

  • Retail payments organisations establish industry taskforce to offer payments advice and services to Government during Pandemic
  • ‘Confirmation of Payee’ and ‘Mule Insights Tactical Solution’ capabilities utilised by HMRC
  • All UK  payment methods remain fully operational whilst social distancing measures are in place.

PayPal introduces QR Code payments to 27 markets worldwide

Using QR code technology, there is no technology to touch or purchase - users just aim a smartphone camera at a QR Code that is printed or present on another screen. This is quick, safe and involves limited social contact.

SEPA Instant Payments keep on growing

Volante Technologies, a global provider of payments and financial messaging solutions to accelerate digital transformation, today announced that Niche Global, a rising fintech player, has selected Volante’s cloud-based SEPA Instant Payments as a solution to accelerate its expansion into the European payments market.

Niche Global is a Hong Kong-based fintech innovator providing instant remittance and debit card solutions in Asia that simplify the complexity of payments for consumers and businesses. By offering SEPA instant payments to their customers, the organisation plans to increase the reach of their digital wallet and omnichannel payment services in Europe.

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