European mobile payment systems team up

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Seven European mobile payment systems on Tuesday said they are joining forces to better develop cross-border contactless payments. The move is seen as an attempt to create a regional standard for smartphone payments that does not require Apple, Google, Visa or Mastercard.

Mark Wraa-Hansen, CEO of Denmark’s MobilePay system, says the European Mobile Payment System Association combines 25 million registered users, about one million merchant acceptance points and more than 350 partner banks.

Wraa-Hansen said the association will focus on making it possible to use any of the seven mobile payments seamlessly across Belgium, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland and four Nordic nations.

The alliance members are MobilePay (Denmark and Finland), Banccontact Payconiq (Belgium), Bluecode (Germany and Austria), SIBS (Portugal), Swish (Sweden), VIPPS (Norway) and TWINT (Switzerland). The EMPSA said more countries and mobile payment systems are expected join over the next months.

The association, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, has not yet been in dialogue with the European Commission but said the bloc earlier have asked member countries to be active in achieving interoperability.

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