At this point in time card payments in Europe are predominantly processed by US based companies and according to Joachim Schmalzl, this is problematic because a dominant market like this could hurt consumers and merchants. High fees and questions regarding data protection are concerns he mentioned.
This is why more than 30 banks including ING, Banco Santander, Deutsche Bank and credit card processors such as UniCredit unified to offer the necessary competition opposite the American oligopoly. They have until September to offer a blueprint for their pan-European payments service which will be used to pay online and in stores to settle bills between individual consumers and to withdraw cash at ATMS.
But this isn’t the first time something like this has been attempted. The 2011 Monnet project tried something similar and failed due to lack of political backing and a failure to develop a viable business model.