3THE OUTLOOK FOR NATIONAL PAYMENT SCHEMES IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY
e sponsored the nationalpayment schemes projectbecause we believe thatincreased competition between paymentschemes is good for the industry. Competitionencourages innovation which benetsusers of payment services. Competition canbe a catalyst for greater eciency whichis good for the overall economy. This canonly happen if we have strong and vibrantnational/domestic schemes in addition tothe traditional international card schemes(ICS). We were delighted that 17 majornational schemes globally participated inthe project and feel that it shows a stronglevel of enthusiasm and commitment to thecontinued development of schemes centredin national economies.We already knew from a number of existingand emerging schemes that we workwith, that there is a renewed belief thatnational schemes have a positive futureand the survey results are in line with ourexperience. From our viewpoint, the keysuccess factors for national schemes thatalready exist or are in development are:• The value for money proposition resultingfrom cost-ecient business models iscritical for ongoing success. However,if this is at the expense of havingdevelopment funding for new products
and services then it is a self-defeatingstrategy. There are several alternativeways to access capital for developmentwithout compromising the overall lowcost proposition although this requires thecurrent scheme owners to accommodatethis new reality and potentially acceptdierent corporate structures.• To build an international acceptancestrategy that mixes co-branding withthe ICS along with co-branding with thesmaller schemes such as UnionPay andDiners/Discover, hence building directacceptance in key markets throughreciprocity arrangements with othernational schemes. It is not a paradox tostate that in today’s increasingly globalworld, every national scheme has to havean international strategy.• The governance model of nationalschemes that allows signicant local inputis a strong point, however this needs to bebalanced against the need to recognisethat banks are not the only stakeholdersthat matter. There is a need for schemes,to take decisions more rapidly in thecurrent business environment. For long-established national schemes, a reviewof the governance model is probablyessential.