Delay Bancontact/Mister Cash to Maestro migration for Belgian Banks

Febelfin announced that Belgian banks have decided against the decision to switch the domestic debit card system (Bancontact/Mister Cash) to the MasterCard payments platform at the end of the year. In May last year, Banksys announced the switch to Maestro from the national system, scheduled to take place in January 2008. The migration was intended to coincide with the introduction Sepa. According to Belgian national press, suspension of the project followed protests from retailers concerned about interchange fee levels. A lack of clarity in the legislative arena for payments processing was also cited as a consideration. Mastercard has responded to the setback by re-affirming its intention to introduce Maestro as a local debit scheme at the beginning of 2008, in direct competition with the Bancontact system. To date, over 95% of Belgian debit cards already have Maestro operability for international transactions.


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