Dutch
banking group ABN AMRO and payment processor Equens have signed an
agreement under which Equens will provide Single Euro Payments Area
(SEPA) debit card processing services to ABN AMRO for a period of
five years, effective from 1 January 2009.

Equens was formed from the merger of Dutch payment processor
Interpay and German processor Transaktioninstitut, and processed
approximately 7 billion payment transactions in 2006. This
represented a market share of over 10 percent within the eurozone,
making Equens one of the largest payment service providers
operating in Europe.

Equens said that the switch to SEPA will have far-reaching
consequences for product and business development, and that
Equens’s integrated approach will enable a smooth transition to
SEPA, allowing clients to reap maximum benefits from arising market
opportunities.

Ben Haasdijk, chairman of the board of directors of Equens, said:
“By choosing Equens, ABN AMRO shows trust in Equens’s international
strategic roadmap, as we are aiming to be one of the leading
European payment service processors, both in payments as well as in
debit card processing. This contract is of great strategic
importance for Equens, paving the way for Equens’s international
card ambitions.”

V PAY enters Dutch market

Equens is also co-operating with Visa Europe for the entrance of V
PAY, Visa’s SEPA-compliant debit scheme, into the Dutch market. The
first Dutch V PAY cards were produced in December. Across Europe, 3
million payment terminals are ready to accept V PAY
transactions.

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By GlobalData

Andy Makkinje, vice-president of international cards at Equens,
said: “In the framework of the European guidelines, Equens finds it
self-evident that it can process all European brands. V PAY is an
excellent example in this context. Adequate co-operation with the
international payment schemes and proper division of tasks
contribute to the creation of a highly developed European payments
market.”