In 2018/2019 both merchants and payment providers face pressing, strategic questions related to the selection of the payment methods they support, that need to be answered. 

European regulatory initiatives like PSD2, promoting instant payments, open banking, and data sharing have created a new payments ecosystem. Acquirers, PSPs and card schemes, threatened by the risk of being bypassed by Third Party Providers, are now looking at new business models and the roles they can play in this new ecosystem. However, the key questions remain, whether to continue playing in the traditional card acquiring space and/or to take full advantage of PSD2 by opting for PISP/AISP licensing? What can be done in-house, and what in collaborating with partners for those opportunities that lie outside the expertise?

There are other questions relating to the future direction of European Card Acquiring. In 2018, cards continued to grow their share of the European payments market, but the increasing scheme fees are eroding the benefits of interchange regulation. The British Retail Consortium warned in 2018 that scheme fees increased 39% in 2017. Various consumer groups asked the European regulators to step in to protect merchants from hidden fee increases. The UK Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) announced in July 2018 a market review into card-acquiring services, including a public consultation whether there is effective competition and supply of card-acquiring services.  

What’s next for Card Acquiring, Scheme fees and Interchange Fee Regulation in Europe in 2019? 

The future of card acquiring, fees evolution, new merchant payments options, Open API technology are among the key topics to be discussed at the MPE 2019, Europe’s Largest Merchant Payment Acceptance Conference in Berlin, February 19-21. Consult Hyperion are delighted to support MPE once again. If you’d like to meet with the team, please email to arrange a meeting.

You can request the Agenda & register at

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