After five years of operating through SIX, the domestic Belgian card scheme Bancontact sees its vision of a genuinely competitive landscape and real choice for merchants become reality.
SIX Payment Services today announced that it has extended its current agreement with Bancontact in Belgium. The agreement means that SIX Payment Services will continue to operate and further develop the Bancontact Scheme Switch. SIX Payment Services has operated the Bancontact Scheme since 2012 when it was first awarded the contract.
Bancontact is the largest card scheme in Belgium with over 15 million debit cards in circulation, conducting over 1.4 billion transactions per year. The extension of the agreement further demonstrates SIX’s position as one of Europe’s leading payment services providers.
In 2011 Bancontact took the decision to make the Switch Scheme SEPA compliant and to introduce a truly competitive landscape. In 2012, as part of the new strategy, SIX was invited to fully build and operate the Bancontact Scheme Switch which links Bancontact members (Issuers and Acquirers) and ensures that all authorization and clearing messages are correctly directed and processed efficiently.
Kim Van Esbroeck, CEO Bancontact Company, says: “We are delighted to extend our mutually beneficial collaboration with SIX Payment Services. We and our customers will continue to experience the robustness and stability of their state of the art processing platform as well as the proactive customer service of SIX - both are fundamental elements of a reliable technology partnership.”
The SEPA scheme switch has encouraged the market to develop by allowing new entrants to enter the sector and compete fairly. Today, more than a dozen acquirers and most of the terminal vendors/PSPs in Belgium can offer Bancontact to their merchants, who are able to use the system in both physical and online retail environments.
Andrej Eichler, Managing Director and Head Financial Industry Services at SIX Payment Services, says, “By extending our working relationship with the team at Bancontact we are able to continue to play an important role working at the heart of the Belgian card ecosystem. We are proud of having been part of its remarkable evolution over the past years.”