The Euro Alliance of Payment Schemes (EAPS),
an alliance of European debit schemes, is claiming increased
transaction flows following a tie-up between its Italian and
German partners.

Italy’s Consorzio Bancomat and Germany’s
Zentraler Kreditausschuss opened up the Italian and German
processing gateways (SIA-SSB and CardProcess) in August last year.
It extended the reach of EAPS to another 19,000 ATMs in Italy
and Germany, taking the total to 200,000 across Europe through its
partners including Link (UK), SIBS (Portugal) and Euro
6000 (Spain). Other organisations are working together to
extend the reach of EAPS in different countries, including BV
Zahlungssysteme, Equens Italia, finanz informatik, Trionis,
VocaLink and VÖB-ZVD.

“EAPS is steadily gaining momentum as a leading European payment
card scheme with debit card transactions continuing to increase,”
said Ugo Bechis, chairman of the EAPS board and head of
SEPA-Payments at UBI Banca.

“Thanks to the valuable support of all our
active payment scheme members and their processing gateways, we
have been able to demonstrate how individual issuing and acquiring
institutions can cost-effectively optimise their existing ATM and
POS acquiring infrastructures, by participating in EAPS.”

EAPS was launched in 2007 to unite the
networks of independent card schemes throughout Europe under a
single European framework. It has been touted as a potential “third
scheme” which could break the hold of MasterCard and Visa and add
competition into the payments market, an initiative the
European Competition Commission has voiced its support for.