MPE 2021 > SAVE THE DATE > 23-25 Feb 2021


ECAF 2009 summary

Brief information

Despite the economic crisis, even in 2009 ECAF remained the must attend event of the year for 240 card acquiring professionals.

Event in numbers
  • Attendees: 240
  • Speakers: 50
  • Sponsors: 17
  • Exhibitors: 9


Despite the economic crisis, even in 2009 ECAF remained the must attend event of the year for 240 card acquiring professionals. It is organised annually with growing number of participating acquirers, merchants, processors, schemes and relevant solution providers.

Delegates attending are senior industry executives responsible for managing all types of card acquiring programs.

Our partners are key industry players benefiting from partnerships established or strengthened at this event...

The team of Empiria.

Chairmen summaries

Remarks on Conference by Leon Dhaene, Chairman, N2Euro

Leon Dhaene is the Chairman of N2Euro. Leon has 20+ years of senior management experience in global account management, business development and sales, acquisitions / mergers / joint ventures, performance optimisation and services development, at multinational corporations MasterCard International (2001-2004), Europay International (1992-2001), Eurocard International (1989-1992) and IBM (1985-1989). As of 2004, Leon created his own consulting practice, Network of Alliances, Outsourcing and Mergers Experts bvba, and was Managing Partner of N2EURO, a network of experts in 10 European countries. He has been leading business strategic projects in the global financial & leasing, social services management, environmental and identity control sector; and business development activities in Europe for enterprise software and financial service companies. As a leading global card specialist, Leon will be most remembered for introducing Maestro to the world, an international debit card with over 1 billion cardholders worldwide. Leon is a leading SEPA expert.


„There was a clear call for change today, but not necessarily change where we expected it.

Both Peter Jones and Cédric Sarazin took their bow and arrows, and aimed at the SEPA initiative : the momentum is gone, the issues are not clearly dealt with, assumed objectives are not achieved, even more, objectives were not defined in the first place and therefore cannot be monitored.

Where did we hear this before ?
Is this not the definition of a compliance project ?
Is EPC going to be the Marat of the SEPA revolution ?
Je ne…sais pas…

Both Iddo de Jong and Rita Wezenbeek were clear : SEPA has to continue, has to deliver, will be pushed by the EC, …but… no end date yet; and maybe even thinking about an end date could be anti-competitive. We took note.

Standardisation is a long and tedious process, and eventually the 2012 deadline will be moving into 2016…maybe 2020…

The international schemes are also called to embrace change. Chris Davies and Jaime Dominqo clearly indicated that international payment schemes have to reconsider their business model, recognise the added value acquirers bring to the system and reconsider the distribution of costs and profits. Also, systemic change should be better organised and take the cost of change into consideration. Rob Jamieson touched on the issue of the payment schemes not being sufficiently open-minded. And Iddo de Jong alluded to the fact the international payment schemes will have to review their business model, now that they have lost full control over the payment value chain. Schemes should deliver cost efficiencies (like in processing or fraud management), and no longer be the excuse for their members to make exhorbitant profits with no alternatives to go to.

By the voice of MasterCard, we hear that the existing payment schemes might reply to this changing landscape by tapping their mountain of data to the benefit of acquirers and / or merchants, and increase their efforts to support research in innovation down to new products in the different markets.

There are even processors which have dreams, as Andy Makkinje formulated it. Dreams about the increasing trend of outsourcing and cross-border acquiring. Francis Ceuterick advised acquirers to focus on their core business and let third parties take care of processing. Retailers in general, as we heard from Total, urge for speeding up convergence and standardisation.

And retailers will benefit from increased competition as new payment schemes enter the market, payment schemes which either go with a new concept and transparent fair pricing to retailers and cardholders (like PayFair), or schemes which would build on existing investments done, bringing already existing low cost schemes together (like EAPS), or the Diners-Discover combination with a standing history in successful retailer partnerships.

But, and this is a personal opinion, the best news is that Carte Bancaire is SEPA compliant, and will teach Germany how to pay by card. As a consequence, and I predict within 3 years, German volume will overtake French volume at Carte Bancaire, the majority of the CB Board will be German speaking, and wine will be replaced by beer during the Board meetings ! It’s like in football : not necessarily the one playing the nicest game wins…“

Leon Dhaene
Chairman of the conference


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