The European Commission has launched a public online consultation on the possible establishment of an EU-wide system for cancelling lost and stolen credit and payment cards.
The proposed service, provisionally dubbed Card Stop Europe, would be based on a single easy-to-remember phone number. Comments are invited until 30 April 2004.
Frits Bolkestein, internal market commissioner, says: "We are working on the creation of a 'Single Payment Area' in the EU. In parallel with improved security for electronic payments, we need to explore ways to make the reporting of lost and stolen cards more efficient. Consumers need to be convinced that electronic payments are safe and easy to use without problems."
The consultation aims to assess whether card customers are satisfied with existing card 'blocking' services and invites their views on the usefulness and possible features of a possible new pan-European service.
In a recent survey based on interviews with a cross-section of EU citizens in all EU countries, 83% of respondents considered that introducing a single number would be an effective measure. About half of those interviewed said they would be prepared to pay for such service.