EPI, the latest UFO

Every so often, we witness an announcement from major European financial institutions for the latest UFO: Unidentified Financial Object. The project backers vary, as well as the objectives that may range from an acquisition platform to a whole brand new payment scheme. EPI, or European Payments Initiative, is the latest avatar in the UFO family. Their ambitious goal is to challenge the dominance of Mastercard and Visa in Europe. Of course, the new organization also ambitions to resist to the inroads in Europe of China UnionPay, Alipay and WeChat Pay or new entrants in the payment arena such as Facebook, Apple or Google among others. The objective of EPI, the new incarnation of the PEPSI (Pan

Biometric cards: mainstream or not?

BNP Paribas, a major French financial institution, has just announced its plans to distribute biometric payment cards that include a fingerprint sensor, to its Premier and Gold customers. The first batch of between 10,000 and 15,000 Visa Premier, which use technology from Thales, Mastercard and Fingerprint Cards, will be distributed to cardholders in the last quarter of 2020. These cards include a fingerprint sensor that will be used at transaction time as a Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) method, thus allowing cardholders to complete a contactless transaction higher than the floor limit (currently EUR 50 in France) with a fingerprint authentication rather than a PIN. BNP Paribas announ

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