PayFair announced the first implementation of a fully Sepa compliant payment card for European consumers, merchants and banks.
Under the banner "One card for one Europe!" supermarkets in Belgium have started accepting payments made with the PayFair card - to begin with a Colruyt supermarket near Brussels. PayFair partner Atos Wordline supported the launch by delivering the terminal infrastructure. Introduction of the card in Germany together with partner acquirer 'easycash' is planned for early 2010. PayFair brings competition to the European card market and offers an alternative for the national payment cards which are coming to the end of their existence soon, while offering consumers a new modern and convenient payment experience.
As with the Euro for cash, the European Authorities also want a single market for card transactions and bank accounts. SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) for cards alone is expected to make substantial cost savings for individuals and companies in transaction costs. In addition, some national payment card systems - such as Bancontact/MisterCash in Belgium, Pin in The Netherlands, Bancomat in Luxemburg, Laser in Ireland - will not become SEPA compliant and will have to be replaced by European schemes. PayFair is the first and currently only independent initiative enabling banks to offer consumers and merchants a truly SEPA compliant European payment method which is future proof, supporting contactless as well as mobile payments and low value payments, at an attractive transaction cost for merchants and banks.
What makes PayFair different is that it is developed with the SEPA criteria in mind, according to co-founder and CEO Dominique Buysschaert. "We offer a card for the whole of Europe that benefits consumers, merchants and banks, precisely as the authorities want to see it. Among our strengths are efficiency, transparency and independent governance in which all parties are represented. Safety standards are on the highest level, thanks to newly developed infrastructure leveraging latest technologies, guaranteeing maximum efficiency and thhe absence of legacy problems and fraud."
As a next step starting from this kick-off, more stores accepting the PayFair card are foreseen before end of the year. In the coming year PayFair also expects to launch in Germany in partnership with easycash, the leading German network service provider. Next on the list are France and The Netherlands as well as other European countries. Full coverage of Europe can be reached relatively quickly for merchants as acceptance on existing their card terminals compliant with the new SEPA standard will only require a small update. This thanks to the efforts of the first acquirers that have integrated PayFair in their service offering in order to provide merchants with this new competitive offer. Due to the growing interest for PayFair across Europe, the organisation is currently looking at ways to accelerate its expansion, which would lead to even faster roll-out and implementation throughout Europe.