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Europe! Europe! Europe!

Week 49, 2011

“As a consequence, the largest and most promising global m-payment initiatives are currently launched outside Europe,” according to the EC document. “Apple, Google and Visa have all announced major efforts to enter the mPayment business.”

At the same time, multiple national initiatives about mobile payment emerge in Europe: countries as diverse as Poland, the UK, Turkey, the Netherlands, France are setting up national frameworks for mobile payments, generally put together by an association of mobile network operators and financial institution, with some national government support.

Some of these national initiatives are undergoing European scrutiny on issues such as “has a group of British telcos the right to propose a common payment system without the participation of a player?” or  “are the Dutch banks and MNOs breaking competition rules when they set up a mobile payment consortium?”

The risk of fragmentation in Europe, if a puzzle of national payment schemes consolidates, is the emergence of incompatibility and security issues. When the common European currency is threatened, and SEPA for cards is on a sidetrack, there is an urgent need for a call from Brussels for a common European specification and infrastructure to guarantee interoperability and consistence with the common currency.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

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