Press release: National Forum on the Payment System: Debit card use easier for all consumers

Press release
Date 1 June 2016

In its meeting of 31 May, all members of the National Forum on the Payment System (the Forum) supported efforts to increase the availability of user-friendly payment terminals. Blind and visually-impaired people, as well as senior citizens and the illiterate often have difficulty paying with debit cards. A more user-friendly and standardised payment process will ensure everyone is able to easily make electronic payments. Considerations in this respect include a more legible display, audible feedback and a standard keypad layout. In support of this, on 22 June 2016, the European platform Pay-Able will be launched in Brussels. The platform is partly an initiative of the Dutch association for the visually impaired and the association for people with a physical disability, mental disability or chronic illness. Pay-Able will unite international efforts in this area and will exert an influence on manufacturers, as well as laws and regulations. One of the objectives is to include user-friendly payment terminals under the proposed European Accessibility Act. The proposed Act already stipulates the importance of user-friendly ATMs for all consumers.

Forum discusses consumers' freedom to choose payment by cash or debit card
Prompted by the public debate on the use of cash (for example at municipal services or public transport), this autumn the Forum will discuss potential problems relating to possibilities for paying in cash. The discussion will be based on the Forum's vision on the availability and use of cash which it published in November 2015. 

Forum assesses mobile wallet innovation
Innovations provide new digital payment solutions, and can therefore make a valuable contribution to existing payment methods. However, these innovations can also increase risks for the payment system, for example regarding security, availability or fragmented payment solutions. The Forum has assessed mobile wallets on the basis of the social assessment framework prepared last year. A mobile wallet is an e-purse or app that allows consumers to combine different means of payment with other functionalities. The Forum does not envisage that the increased use of wallets will lead to any social risks for the time being. It is however important that the types of payment method the wallet contains are transparent for consumers and retailers.

Other points

  • The Forum observes that the Dutch Payments Association's project to make instant payments available in the Netherlands from May 2019 is on track. 
  • The Forum is positive about the pilot project to increase the availability of ATMs in the south-west of the country. The recommendations made in the pilot project will contribute to ensuring the continued ready availability of cash also in other parts of the country.
  • Based on the results of the fourth evaluation of the bank switching service,a joint initiative byDutch banks, and the ongoing research into IBAN portability, at the end of June the Forum will discuss the possibilities of being able to change payment service provider as easily as possible.
  • The Forum has presented its Report for 2015 to the Minister of Finance. This annual report provides an overview of the developments and the Forum's achievements in 2015. It also sets out the Forum's priorities for 2016. The report is published on the DNB website. 

The National Forum on the Payment System seeks to improve the safety, reliability, accessibility and efficiency of the Dutch payment system. It brings together a broad base of representatives from providers and users of payment instruments. It is chaired by DNB. For more information, please contact our spokesman, Martijn Pols (+31 652496432).