Eaps, the alliance of European debit card schemes which facilitates pan-European ATM and POS transactions, has strengthened its operations.
Today EAPS announces that two of its participants, operating under the EAPS brand, opened ATM networks in Italy and Germany to domestic debit cardholders from each country. Consorzio Bancomat and Zentraler Kreditausschuss, now allow each other's cardholders to withdraw cash from ATM networks in Italy (Bancomat) and Germany (girocard) respectively. Cross border POS acceptance between the two card schemes will follow soon.
EAPS was launched in 2007 to unite the networks of independent domestic card schemes throughout Europe under a single European brand - or a payment 'scheme of schemes' - providing an alternative to the international payment schemes. EAPS increases competition within the payments sector by enabling cross border transactions using debit cards issued under domestic European scheme brands.
Ugo Bechis, Chairman of the EAPS Board and Head of SEPA-Payments at UBI Banca, comments: "The development between Consorzio Bancomat and Zentraler Kreditausschuss shows EAPS' capacity to extend the use of domestically issued debit cards for transactions across Europe. EAPS is a viable and established European card brand, which is gaining in strength and deployment volume. Payment schemes participating in EAPS were responsible for more than 7 billion ATM and POS transactions in 2008. EAPS is aligned to the expectations of the European Commission and the European Central Bank for a European card payment scheme to emerge within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)."
EAPS is open to new partners. Card schemes, banks and payment institutions compliant with European requirements and the SEPA Cards Framework of the European Payments Council are encouraged to join, as EAPS offers an established European card alternative that leverages existing customer bases and relationships.