More attention for the Dutch account switching service
In future it will be possible to digitally apply for the account switching service. One bank in the Netherlands has already started offering this option and other banks are likely to follow suit. The Dutch Payments Association has developed specifications for digitising the application procedure that banks can use. This summer the National Forum on the Payment System (the Forum) presented its vision on improving customer mobility in the payments market. Follow-up actions include digitising and promoting the account switching service. Forum members have agreed to promote the switching service more widely.
The registration centre for IBAN discrimination was set up to address IBAN discrimination and handle complaints. An IBAN is discriminated against if it is rejected solely because the bank account is being held in another country. This constitutes a violation of the law, as businesses are required to accept IBANs from all 34 SEPA countries. Businesses must ensure that customers from these countries can use their IBAN to make payments.
If you want to make a complaint about the rejection of your IBAN, please email us at meldpuntIBANdiscriminatie@dnb.nl.
The Forum discusses phasing out inpayment transfers
The Forum recommended studying the possibilities for maintaining inpayment transfers for longer while still in reasonable use, and acceptable alternatives have not yet been developed for all parties. In 2012 the Forum indicated that paper inpayment transfers would continue to be necessary until 1 January 2019, and that acceptable alternatives would be developed for users before that time. A recent market consultation revealed that entrepreneurs did not have any issues with phasing out inpayment transfers, although various user groups did express reservations about the alternatives suggested.
The Dutch Payments Association's project to make instant payments available in the Netherlands from May 2019 is on track. The design phase has since been completed and the construction phase is now under way. With the introduction of instant payments, the beneficiary's bank account will be credited in a matter of seconds.
Accessibility and availability
Availability and accessibility of payment services in the Netherlands is good. Consumers gave an average satisfaction rating of 7.5 for accessibility and user-friendliness of payment services, while SME’s gave average ratings of 7 and 7.3, respectively. This emerged from the Accessibility Monitor presented at the Forum’s meeting of 29 November 2016.
Additional attention is required for ensuring the continued acceptance of cash payments by institutions with a local monopoly, i.e. situations in which cash payments from consumers are refused where there is in practice no other provider of a similar product or service.
In the period ahead, the Forum will study whether and how cash availability and accessibility can be improved for those with functional impairments. It will also devote more attention to distance and security aspects of cash deposit facilities for businesses. This includes the possibility of opening ATMs that also accept cash deposits in order to reduce the distance to cash deposit points for retailers.
The Forum has conducted an exploratory study of biometrics – the use of measurable physiological characteristics – in the retail payments market, including for authentication purposes. The use of biometric data is gradually expanding and is expected to become much more widespread, driven mainly by consumer convenience and efficiency. However, biometrics also raises issues of safety and privacy. In that light, the Forum will test biometrics in retail payments using the innovation assessment framework.
Study of the environmental impact of debit card transactions
DNB has studied the ecological footprint of debit card transactions with the help of a life cycle analysis. One of the conclusions of the study was that one debit transaction uses the same amount of energy as an 8 watt energy-saving light bulb does in ninety minutes. The total number of all debit transactions made in 2015 had an environmental impact equivalent to approximately 12,000 tonnes of CO2. This is approximately 0.006% of the Netherlands' total CO2 emissions. Possibilities for reducing the environmental impact of debit card transactions include using sustainable energy to power both POS terminals and the data centres that process the debit card transactions, reducing standby time for POS terminals and extending the life of debit cards. A similar study for cash payments will be conducted in 2017.
NFPS Report for 2016 issued
The report by the National Forum on the Payment System (NFPS) provides an overview of payment system developments in the Netherlands and the NFPS's priorities in 2017.