This week's view from Europe, courtesy of Edith Rigler :
European public opinion is still fairly pessimistic, but better than in 2011 – European Commission, July 2012
The spring 2012 results of the Commission´s public opinion poll in 32 countries/territories are now available. The main concerns of Europeans both at EU and national level are the economic situation, government debt and unemployment. Although expectations for the economy over the next 12 months remain fairly pessimistic, they have nevertheless improved significantly since autumn 2011.
ECB report on card fraud shows chips have increased the security of physical transactions – European Central Bank, 31 July 2012
In its first report on card fraud, the ECB states that card fraud has been on a declining trend since 2007, and that technological advances have been key to increasing the security of transactions. The total level of fraud in the SEPA area amounted to €1.26 billion in 2010, a 12.1% decrease since 2009.
Mastercard is not meeting expectations – Handelsblatt, 1 August 2012
Profits increased, but expectations were not met: this is the summary of Mastercard´s quarterly report. The company is not growing as quickly as expected. Revenues increased by 9% to USD 1.82 bn, but analysts had expected USD 1.87 bn.
Paypal and Otto put pressure on banks in Germany – EHI Retail Institute, August 2012
A recent study of “Online payments 2012” by the EHI Retail Institute reveals that innovation happens not in banks but is generated by online providers such as Paypal , Otto, Amazon. While paying via invoice, credit card and direct debit is still used most frequently in Germany, payment concepts similar to Paypal are gaining ground rapidly.
German Central Bank has launched a new SEPA website – Deutsche Bundesbank, July 2012
With the SEPA deadline less than 540 days away, the German Central Bank has set up a special website to facilitate the migration to SEPA and to inform consumers as well as corporates of the changes. The website contains explanations around SEPA and provides questions and answers.
An updated SEPA Q & A is now available from the German Banking Association - Die Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft, July 2012
The Association of German Banks (Die Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft) has published a detailed Q & A document on SEPA (in German and specifically catering to the situation in Germany).
Owning shares is popular again in Germany – Boersenzeitung, 8 August 2012
Approximately 10.2 million Germans (17.5% of the population) own shares, and this number has increased strongly since 2011, says the Deutsche Aktieninstitut (DAI). This is the highest percentage since 2007 and shows that the share market has recovered from the Lehman crisis.