The number of cross-border transactions taking place in Europe under the EAPS payment framework in the third calendar quarter of 2010 grew by 150% compared to the same period in 2009; a total of 860,000 cross-border ATM and POS transactions were facilitated by the alliance of European debit card schemes between July and September 2010.
Based on year to date figures and current projections for the fourth quarter of 2010, EAPS transaction volumes are estimated to reach approximately 1.8 million in 2010 - nearly doubling EAPS transaction volumes in 2009.
The trend shows that payment industry support is increasing at a rapid pace for the European payment framework which unites the networks of European card schemes, acquirers and individual payment institutions in Europe, to enable mutually advantageous cross-border connections. EAPS provides a European alternative to the global payment schemes, which enables debit cardholders in one European country to use their domestically issued cards for ATM and POS transactions in other European countries.
In response to the rapidly increasing acceptance of EAPS as a European framework, the Chairman of the EAPS Board, Peter Blasche, comments: "EAPS' mission is to become the leading European payment card scheme and it is making significant progress towards this goal. The volumes achieved indicate that card schemes, acquirers and payment institutions across Europe understand the benefits of the EAPS framework. EAPS enables participants to cost-effectively extend the reach of domestically issued debit cards for transactions across Europe, while existing ATMs and / or POS infrastructures can be opened up to a broader card base with minimal cost and effort. With transaction volumes increasing at an exponential rate in 2010, the organisation is well placed to consolidate its position as an alternative to the global card schemes during 2011."
The substantial increase in EAPS transactions during the third quarter of 2010 was supported by Eufiserv opening its ATM network for EAPS transactions across Austria and an agreement in July between the UK's LINK ATM network and German card scheme Zentraler Kreditausschuss (ZKA), which allows holders of German debit cards - known as 'girocard' - to withdraw cash from ATMs across the UK. The agreement established under the EAPS framework highlights increasing recognition within the European payments industry of the business benefits which can be derived from EAPS participation.
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.