European banks are considering cutting their ties with Visa Europe to set up an alternative bankcard scheme, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
I see the "alternative bankcard scheme" as spin and a useful cover story rather than of great substance.
A European scheme has not got off the ground for over 25 years and was originally first proposed when there was actually a European scheme in existence called eurocheque International.
The French and German banks finally need the money given the financial crisis. This should be extremely positive for the Visa brand.
The euro scheme will get talked of but may never see the light of day. CUP is different as the authorities there have a way of making things happen which is not the case in Europe.
The Visa split never made business sense and created unnecessary duplicate investments in Europe.
You talk here about how such a sale would "provide a monumental headache for Visa Inc in handling integration and regulatory issues".
Setting up a new bankcard scheme would also cause European Banks a "monumental headache", not to mention the cost involved. With all the problems the Eurozone and broader EU are having, I don't imagine there's really a lot of money for this kind of investment.
It may all be simply a ploy to have Visa in the US take the European Banks a bit more seriously and to listen to them when they talk about topics like SEPA.
I agree with Harin. A separate member-owned Visa Europe was always an anachronism so this move is good for all parties and nothing to do with an alternative scheme which has been talked about for years but seems increasingly unlikely.
Would it be possible that European banks are planning a mobile only payments scheme that has a more cost effective setup than the traditional card processing infrastructures and gives them new business opportunities in the future? If that is the case, the
biggest challenge I foresee for such an initiative is to come to an agreement on interoperable standards (which tends to take long) and the implementation of these standards at the checkout (cash register or POS) while the time to act is short as the competition
won´t stand still.
© Finextra Research 2013