Smart cards have won … for now

ICMA, the International Card Manufacturers Association, a global trade association for card manufacturers, personalizers, issuers and suppliers, just published its 2018 statistics for the card market demonstrating that chip cards represented 88.5% of revenue for all cards globally manufactured in 2018. According to this report, 36.8 billion cards have been manufactured in 2018 leading to US$ 18.13 billion (EUR 15.87 billion) in revenues, a decrease of 4.2% of revenue over the prior year. This gives a global ASP (Average Selling Price) for the industry of US$ 0.49 (EUR 0.43) . In addition, there was US$ 8.17 billion (EUR 7.15 billion) worth of personalization and fulfillment services for a c

Fines, fines, fines ...

MasterCard: EUR 570 million MasterCard has just been sanctioned with a EUR 570.6 million penalty by the European Commission for “limiting the possibility for merchants to benefit from better conditions offered by banks established elsewhere in the Single Market, in breach of EU antitrust rules.” This is the final outcome of an investigation opened in 2013 on interchange fees: the European Commission, defending the principle of a Single Market, investigated the practices of both Visa and MasterCard which imposed different interchange fees to merchants according to their location in the EU. Mastercard fully cooperated with investigators which led to a reduction in the fine of about 10%. Master

Fiserv - First Data build giant payment processor

Fiserv and First Data just announced that Fiserv, a company seen as a FinTech is acquiring First Data, the world-leading payment processor, in an all-stock transaction valued US$ 22 billion (EUR 19.3 billion). However, as First Data is heavily indebted, to the level of US$ 17 billion (EUR 15 billion), a legacy of the company’s shaky history: First Data was acquired by investment group KKR in 2007, and then went public again in 2015. Fiserv’s plan is to refinance the debt load as soon as the deal closes thanks to synergies building up from the combined operations: “Fiserv will generate some US$ 4 billion (EUR 3.5 billion) annually in free cash flow by the third year of the merger,” declared J

Google plays europayment?

Google just announced it has been granted a European “electronic money institution license” raising concerns among the more traditional payment community. The Bank of Lithuania has granted Google Payment Lithuania this license that allows the company to issue and redeem electronic money as well as provide payment services. At the same time, just before Christmas, the Central Bank of Ireland granted authorization to Google Payment Ireland. With these licenses and thanks to SEPA and PSD2 sets of rules, Google is now able to operate payment services, to issue payment means and to accept payments all over the EEA (European Economic Area: EU plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). So far, Google h

When Apple sneezes, the IT industry catches a cold!

Apple just announced a profit warning a couple days ago that resulted in a 10% drop in their share on Thursday. Now the company is no longer the #1 in terms of valuation but, with US$ 680 billion (EUR 598 billion) sits in the 4th place after Microsoft, Amazon and Google. Another way to measure the drop in Apple valuation is to say that it has lost 40% of its value or US$ 450 million (EUR 396 million) in three months since October 2018, representing more than the entire value of Facebook. In a letter to its shareholders, CEO Tim Cook announced the revenue for its fiscal first quarter (ending on December 29) is now anticipated to be at US$ 84 billion (EUR 74 billion) rather than the original f

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