Much has changed in the financial world
since VRL’s Cards & Payments Europe event was staged in
Brussels in 2008, with the global economic slump fundamentally
altering the payment landscape. This year, Cards & Payments
Europe will focus on how to maintain profitability in a difficult
economic climate.

Winner: Nicola Cordone of SinSys accepts the 2008 processor of the year awardEven though the credit
crunch first reared its ugly head in mid-2007, it is only over the
last 12 months that its full force has been felt globally. At the
2008 Cards & Payments Europe event, held in Brussels, Cards
invited the world’s leading payment players to
provide their insight into how the financial landscape might be
reshaped by the global economic turbulence.


Perhaps some in attendance were of the view
that the world would right itself by the time the 2009 Cards &
Payment Europe event came around, but as is evident, the only thing
that is certain is uncertainty. That is why this year’s Cards &
Payments Europe event, being held in Prague on 18 and 19 June at
the Clarion Congress Hotel, will be focusing on how payment players
can expect to maintain profitability in both the developed Western
markets and in the increasingly important Central and Eastern
European markets.

The role of Central and Eastern

Winner: Joe Hurley of Discover accepts the 2008 award fir best credit cardsCentral and Eastern
Europe are experiencing rapid movement from emerging markets to
prime markets in the payment system landscape. The restructuring of
payments services to meet EU regulatory demands and Single European
Payment Area (SEPA) standards is a big challenge for all players

Now more than ever, it is crucial for existing
market players to learn new skills and strategies to stave off
increased competition, maintain profitability in the new European
cards and payments realm and achieve excellence in emerging

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Just some of the topics to be addressed this
year include cross-border business models in issuing, processing
and acquiring; technology and infrastructure challenges, such as
the potential of mobile and contactless payments in these markets;
the rise of debit card usage; consumer education and
incentivisation; and how issuers can win customer loyalty in
emerging markets.

Delegates will also be able to gauge the full
impact of the credit crunch and the ensuing economic turbulence
with sessions focusing on how the card and payment industries can
navigate a safe path through the rocky financial landscape.

Speakers will share best practices across the
entire cards and payments spectrum, and exclusive case studies will
be presented to demonstrate that success can be achieved even as
the payment landscape is transformed beyond recognition.

The Cards & Payments Europe 2009

In tandem with the conference, Cards
will also be hosting a gala awards dinner on the
evening of 18 June to acknowledge and reward the outstanding
contributions achieved in the cards and payments sector over the
last 12 months.

Cards International readers are
invited to submit their nominations for this year’s awards.

Full information can be found on, where details of the event and a nomination
submission document can be downloaded.

Please send all nominations to Victoria
Conroy, editor of Cards International, at The deadline for receipt of
nominations is 23 March 2009.

The Cards International team and a
panel of esteemed judges drawn from the global cards and payments
sector will then draw up a shortlist of nominees, with the winners
to be announced at the Cards & Payments Europe gala awards

On behalf of the Cards International
team, I hope you will be able to join us for what promises to be a
highly engaging and lively conference.

• Best Merger & Acquisition

• Best New Credit Card Product Launch

• Best New Debit Card Product Launch

• Best New Prepaid Card Product Launch

• Best New Co-branded or Affinity Card
Product Launch

• Best Innovation in a Loyalty Programme

• Best Commercial Card Issuer

• Best Card Processor of the Year

• Best Merchant Acquirer of the Year

• Most Promising New Entrant