In Search of a Third European Card Scheme: Time to Move On

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15 March 2012


Encouraged by the authorities, a number of initiatives have emerged over the last six to seven years, vying for the position of a third European card scheme. This report investigates the prospects of these initiatives and reviews the arguments behind the new card scheme.

In a new report, In Search of a Third European Card Scheme: Time to Move On, Celent examines each of the major contenders for the third European card scheme and assesses their likelihood of success. The report discusses the third scheme’s credentials for each of the main players, namely, PayFair, Monnet, EAPS, and EUFISERV Payments, and provides a Celent perspective on their current state and future prospects. The report also reviews the arguments for the need of such a scheme in the first place.

Celent does not believe that any of the main contenders will deliver a new viable and competitive European card scheme any time soon. Furthermore, we argue that the market has moved on in the last seven years, and the case for a European-only card scheme created from scratch is simply no longer there, if it ever was.

“It is time to forget about the European card scheme and to focus on what really matters,” says Zilvinas Bareisis, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and author of the report. “In today’s economic climate, where even the euro’s future as a currency remains far from assured, the concept of a third European card scheme should be laid to rest.”