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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Short takes on payments

A couple of stories pertaining to payments in Europe caught our eye today. One is about new single euro payments area (SEPA) regulation; the other pertains to near field communication (NFC) ticketing.

SEPA regulation passed

The European Parliament passed new SEPA regulation Feb. 14, 2012. The regulation is designed to make cross-border bank transfers faster, cheaper and safer, the European Parliament said in a release issued after the vote. The vote was 635 in favor, 17 against and 31 abstentions.

The new regulation institutes common rules and standards for euro credit and direct debit among banks. The new requirement makes banks comply with SEPA rules and will allow customers to make euro payments anywhere in SEPA from a single bank account. It does not apply to personal credit or debit card payments.

Sari Essayah, a member of the European Parliament, said, "The regulation will enable consumers "to make payments from one bank account to others all over Europe, just like a normal domestic payment. It will be possible to make all cross-border credit transfers and direct debits in the same way as normal domestic payments. A person working abroad will not need to open a new bank account in the host country, but may receive his or her salary in the home country bank account. Companies will benefit, too, by not needing more than one bank account in Europe for each payment purpose."

Banks have until Feb. 1, 2014, to adopt the new standards.

Juniper finds move to NFC for ticketing

In a new white paper released Feb. 14, 2012, UK research and analytical services company Juniper Research Ltd. said 13 percent of North American and Western European mobile users will use their mobile phones for metro rail or bus tickets by 2016. The company said less than 1 percent of mobile phone users use their phones for ticketing today.

The white paper projected the number of ticketing transactions will quadruple to 23 billion by 2016. This will equate to more than 50 percent of all mobile ticketing revenue, according to the paper.

"Worldwide, mobile users are now beginning to adopt mobile tickets as an integrated part of their mobile lifestyle, whether for airline, road or rail transport, sporting or entertainment event access," the Juniper report noted, adding more testing on mobile ticketing still needs to be done.

David Snow, the report author, said, "NFC mobile ticketing is still in its early stages, but it holds great promise across the entire mobile ticketing market. Metro ticketing is leading the way as an NFC ticket is a natural evolution from a contactless transport card and can leverage the existing infrastructure."

end of article

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