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The road to payments clearing consolidation in Europe

Today's news saw an announcement that's likely to become more commonplace over the next two years: the merger of two European payment infrastructures.

The merger of Voca and Link doesn’t fit as neatly with the European Commission’s vision as last year’s merger of Dutch payments body Interpay and Germany's Transaktionsinstitut to create Equens. The EC hopes that Sepa will lead to the emergence of just one or two pan-European clearing houses, requiring countries to forego their national infrastructures.

VocaLink is still decidedly British, but the merger, combined with the imminent launch of Swift access to its Sepa-compliant payment engine, signal its intention to increase its presence in the euro zone.

Speaking to Marion King today, Finextra was told that the Voca-Link merger (as well as making sense from a UK domestic perspective) has improved the breadth of payment types handled by the single organisation to help it compete in Europe.

But in the next few years there will likely be more partnerships and even M&A activity. King says that to further expand its European presence, VocaLink will be looking at reach and interoperability more than scale. It may be looking at other payment infrastructures in Europe, perhaps partnering with banks that have connections across the region and beyond, and also looking at software companies too.

You can listen to the 5-minute interview here.

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Elton Cane

Elton Cane

Digital product delivery

News Corp Australia

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

SEPA and European Payments

The Single Euro Payments Area, the Payments Services Directive, the Eurosystem, TARGET2, STEP2, the Euro and related matters.


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