Press release: MOB/NFS meeting on 15 November 2012

Press release
Date 16 November 2012

  • Netherlands has to speed up IBAN introduction
  • Cost of retail payments in the Netherlands declines

The National Forum on SEPA migration (NFS) urges all stakeholders to step up efforts to meet the deadlines of the national migration plan.
Whereas in the spring, most large enterprises and public bodies were still taking stock of what needed to be done, the latest SEPA Migration Monitor shows that most of these organisations are now drafting or executing concrete action plans for the move to IBAN. For all deadlines to be met, serious efforts will still be required.

Umbrella and sector organisations, banks and software companies will have to go the extra mile in order to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in migrating to IBAN before next summer.
The SME sector and even some larger companies have not made much progress towards their IBAN migration. Most appear to plan on migrating in the second half of 2013, when they risk having to queue for support from their banks and software suppliers. To bring migration forward, banks are advised to make their IBAN interface the default Internet banking page. The NFS calls on banks to have the interface, or most of it, ready by April 2013.

The NFS finds that in contrast to the exemplary role assumed by the public sector elsewhere in Europe, Dutch public bodies are not among the early IBAN adopters. Especially municipalities will have to exert themselves to be ready in time for the migration.
The Migration Monitor survey shows that a substantial share of municipalities has not yet completed the planning phase. Meanwhile, the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) has promised to remedy the backlog before the year-end. 
The National Forum on the Payment System welcomes a further reduction in the cost of payments, to far below the European average.
More and more retail payments in the Netherlands are made by debit card, bringing down the cost of the payment system as a whole. The Netherlands is also doing well in a European perspective. The total costs involved in cash and debit card payments in the Netherlands amount to 0.42% of GDP, compared to a 0.59% of GDP European average. If the cost of payments in the Netherlands were at the European average level, it would be one billion euro higher. For more detail on the latest survey of the Forum, see the fact sheet 'Betalen kost minder!' (in Dutch only).  
New measures to counter EFT/POS interruptions
Uninterrupted availability of payment terminals is important to retailers and consumers alike. Inability to use debit cards creates social inconvenience. Work is going on at several spots along the payment chain to increase availability further. The Dutch Payments Association (Betaalvereniging Nederland) has taken steps to improve the data communication link in the chain as well. This includes the availability of the datalink to and from payment terminals, improvements in communications in case of interruptions and more transparency to retailers regarding the quality levels of network services. These efforts will result in an overall reduction of EFT/POS interruptions.

Favourable reaction by Minister of Security and Justice to Forum's call for decisive action against financial cybercrime
The Forum has written to the Minister of Security and Justice to call attention to the need to act more decisively against perpetrators of cybercrime. The Minister has reacted favourably. Action against cybercrime is among a number of nation-wide police priorities and justitial authorities are working to reinforce their digital expertise base. In his reaction, the Minister also emphasises the importance of public-private cooperation. 

Notes for the press
The National Forum for the Payment System seeks to improve the efficiency of the Dutch retail payment system. The Forum brings together a broad base of representatives from providers and users of payment instruments. It is chaired by DNB.

The National Forum on SEPA migration (NFS) was instigated by the National Forum on the Payment System. The NFS supports the migration in the Netherlands towards the use of IBAN and of payment instruments based on European standards.  These standards must be implemented by 1 February 2014 at the latest. The Forum offers Dutch payment instrument providers and users a platform to exchange information, discuss possible approaches and reach agreement on the migration of the Dutch payment system.

Today, the NFS publishes the outcomes of the semiannual SEPA migration monitor, the sixth such survey, held in November 2012. You may view the outcomes on and on There you will also find DNB's fact sheet on the cross-border payment behaviour of the Dutch during 2011. Go to

For more information, please contact Tobias Oudejans (020-5243100 or 06-52496961).