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Thursday, January 29, 2004

Paypal profits may affect the regulatory future of e-money ...

Oliver Travers (at the weblog Start of Fee) quotes this article in the Internetretailer on Paypals profits:
"PayPal, the payment transactions unit of eBay Inc., reported revenue of $132.6 million for the fourth-quarter ended Dec. 31, up 77.5% from $74.7 million in the year-earlier period. For the full year, PayPal had revenue of $436.7 million, up 85% from $236.6 million in 2002. [...] Most of PayPal?s revenue is from the fees it charges merchants for payment transactions."

We may conclude (contrary to common belief here in the Netherlands...):
1-new payment mechanisms can make a profit,
2-the new retail payments market via new media is international,
3-Paypal is by far the unbeatable first-mover in the new media payments / e-money domain.

Paypals profits show that taking a Dutch approach to a new payments debate may not be the proper way forward. Most likely the number of Dutch customers at Paypal is bigger than the number of Dutch customers at Way2Pay, Minitix, Tootz, Wallie-card etc. altogether. Still, the recent report of our Ministry of Economic Affairs hardly recognizes the role and significance of Paypal as (soon to be) Europe's largest e-money issuer and institution....

Assuming that history will repeat itself, we should not be surprised when Paypal Europe starts using the available EU-legal instruments to correct wrongdoings in the EU-market of e-money. Let's not forget that only some 20-odd years ago Visa were doing the same to enter the protective EU-markets.

I think it would be good to remember that Paypal has a US background and is drilled to understand and respect the regulatory rules in the market. This US-background also means that they will not hesitate to sue other private or public organisations that do not live up to the same rules and that distort the level playing field.

So Paypal will at some point in time undoubtedly demand that any electronic money issuer will abide with e-money rules and with competition rules as to overcharging the merchant. Given both its own resources and those of E-bay, the other players in this market may be in for a bumpy regulatory ride.




EZ: "Meer betalingen moeten online"

Op Planet Internet wordt ingegaan op een onderzoek van EZ naar betalen via nieuwe media. Aan het onderzoeksrapport kleven nogal wat problemen. Het analytisch kader is zwak, de verwijzing naar diverse onderliggende gebruikte stukken is incompleet en de weergave van de problematiek rond elektronisch geld inhoudelijk en juridisch technisch onjuist. Aldus ontstaat de situatie dat gesuggereerd wordt dat de omwisselverplichting elektronisch geld (die in juridische zin vanuit de richtlijn elektronisch geld een direkte werking heeft richting marktpartijen, doch ook in de Wtk is opgenomen) terzijde geschoven moet worden om de business case van bepaalde marktpartijen te verbeteren.



Monday, January 26, 2004

Mobile Edy....

JCN Network reports that prepaid e-money service operator bitWallet will introduce a new mail-based payment service with the name 'Mobile Edy'. Mobile Edy will enable Felica i-mode handset users to pay via mobile mail.



Thursday, January 22, 2004

Commentary on single legal payments framework effort of Commission

Today we sent our comments on the new legal framework for the single payments area to the European Commission. Given the experiences with the e-money regulation in practice, we are not convinced that the document brings Europe where it needs to go. In our view regulatory inefficiencies and inadequacies should be eliminated first before going on another regulation spree.


Monday, January 12, 2004

E-money license for Contopronto ... soon also Paypal Europe

Leo van Hove was so kind to notice, during my holiday, that Contopronto, a Norwegian issuer of mobile wallets, has been granted a license as electronic money issuer. Contopronto will also expand its business into Europe, from their London base.

Meanwhile, Ben Putter informed me that Paypal is preparing to introduce PayPal (Europe) Ltd., a company incorporated in the United Kingdom, as the service provider for PayPal customers in the European Union. It is anticipated that PayPal (Europe) Ltd. will begin operating in February 2004, subject to receiving authorisation from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK. As a consequence European customers will have to sign up with Paypal Europe or end their affiliation with Paypal.



Link naar meer algemeen weblog over betalingsverkeer

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