Euro debit card scheme links up

Euro debit card scheme links up

Customers will be able to use debit cards abroad

The Link cash machine network is to join forces with five other countries to create a pan-European debit card scheme.

The Euro Alliance of Payment Schemes (EAPS) will allow consumers to use a debit card abroad, where previously only a credit card was possible.

The scheme will be a key part of the Single European Payments Area (Sepa), said EAPS co-ordinator Oliver Hommel. “This is an important part of Sepa, so we will have to keep in line with wider deadlines,” he said.

Test transactions between terminals in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal have been successful. The scheme will be finished by 2010, with banks able to join in 2008.

But some retailers may need persuading, said Hommel.

“The starting point is that we get a framework of organisations in place who are saying that mutual acceptance of debit cards is acceptable,” he said.