A market without borders – modern times, modern solutions
In 2002, the European Commission formulated a vision with European banks for a common payment market, the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA). The goal of SEPA is to have a market without borders within the EU, making it easier for customers to spend money anywhere in Europe.
One key for the development of a common payment market is offering customers European instruments and payment card services. These include solutions for autogiro, intra-EU bank transfers, and payment cards.
One common European payment market
In 2002, the European Commission took the first steps toward one single payment market for Europe, the Single Euro Payment Area or SEPA. The initiative is supported by European banks and facilitates the movement of currency across European borders to make payments between countries more convenient.
One prerequisite for SEPA is a common set of regulations that integrate into each country’s existing legislation. The European Commission has developed a legal framework, the Payment Service Directive, that applies to payments inside SEPA.
Simplicity in a complex system
Plastic payment cards are not only the simplest payment method, they are also convenient and safe. MasterCard and Visa are accepted at over 24 million vendors around the world. Customers never miss a purchase and run a smaller risk of loss or theft than when paying with cash. But behind the scenes is an extensive, complex transaction structure in which vendors, issuers and acquirers cooperate to make card payments possible.
Safety and security first
As banks enhance their customer offers, safety is a common buzzword. In payment systems, safety is equivalent to customer peace of mind – and it must be maintained throughout the entire transaction chain. Customers must feel confident that their payment card information will remain protected and away from criminal hands when shopping with payment cards.
Safety also plays a key role in gaining consumer and market acceptance for payment card solutions.