back to article EU asks why credit cards are so expensive

The European Commission is asking for input on better ways to integrate electronic payments across the European Community, and whether today's opaque billing mechanisms can be allowed to continue. The consultation – which talks about card payments but is most concerned with a future where e-payments and m-payments continue to …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why credit cards are so expensive?

    Because they are issued by banks that like to rip you off.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      It's a profitable business that's why. They have tapped into our desire to buy things with money we've not earned yet.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Really?

      I don't pay anything for mine, then again I use it rarely and pay it off as soon as possible.

      Before I paid it off, it was expensive, but they are offering you an unsecured loan for exactly the amount that you want, when you want it. Then giving you lots of stuff on top like insurance on the goods bought, they'll even fly you back from your holiday if it goes wrong assuming you got it on your CC.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Really, Really?

        That's funny, because I pay everytime I use mine. Visa whack the retailer a fee, and the retailer adds that to my bill. Sometimes the retailer doesn't tell you about it (although it's still there), sometimes they do (cough £7 extra a bloody ticket "cheap" airline!)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Bristol Bachelor

          Do you think that you don't pay to make payments in cash? That's why in the vast majority of shops you pay the same on debit/credit card or cash. Cash costs money to handle.

          As for certain airlines - they've been banned from making ridiculous charges and these were never about card costs anyway.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Lobbying

          It's worse in my pine-tree-abundant US state: the retailer is not even allowed to charge a transaction fee. Protecting the poor from exploitation, apparently. Because of that, there's the odd value-driven business that doesn't even accept credit cards, although one recently caved in.

          I'm caught between Scylla and Charybdis.* I can take a principled stand and not let them suck my money out of the state or I can use my cashback cards and get a chunk back.

          * OK, maybe not. It's more of a white person's problem**.

          ** With regards to Lewis CK.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No competition

          As with so many other quasi-monopolies - rail travel, gas, electricity, broadband, TV, and of course PC operating systems and office suites - consumers actually have little or no choice. The mechanism whereby they are supposed to be able to drive down prices by choosing the cheapest option is entirely absent from the credit card market, because all the negotiation takes place between banks and merchants. (Not that the merchants have any choice either, other than "take it" or "leave it").

      2. Chemist

        "I use it rarely and pay it off as soon as possible"

        As indeed do I by variable DD with the exception that I use it as much as possible because the CC company gives cash-back - OK only £75 or 0.5% of all the spend but it's in the right direction

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Not always true. I use mine because:

      * It comes with free insurance.

      * If some miscreant guesses/steals the details it's the CC issuer's money being stolen not mine.

      My card is paid off in full by direct debit every month. I don't think I've ever paid a penny in interest in the 25 years I owned one.

    4. Figgus

      I personally use a check card, it'd not money I borrow but it is money I have in my checking account. It works just like a Visa card.

      I do have to wonder why private enterprise is involved with any of this. The US Treasury already spends a ton of money making hard currency, how about they roll out a ubiquitous electronic payment system and stop having merchants pay several percentage points of every transaction to Visa who really contributes nothing to the system.

      NOTE: I am against big government, but to me cards are just another form of currency.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        I'd never risk a 'check card' - called a 'debit card' in the UK. The problem with them is that if they are compromised the money gets taken out of your account so you have to claim it back. With a CC you just tell the issuer which transactions are fraudulent and you never actually lose the money in the first place.

        Someone else has mentioned the cost of CCs but in the UK at least there's rarely a fee for them and most retailers charge the same for CC as they do for cash or any other form of payment. If they are including a CC handling charge in the price then everyone is paying it.

        1. Figgus

          Over here, a debit card has a PIN and works at an ATM. The check card is issued by Visa, takes a signature, and does not work as an ATM card for my account. It also has all the credit card protections.

          I wouldn't have one on an account with thousands of dollars in it, but for my own meager portion of my paycheck it suits my purposes just fine.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Bureaucracy

        But surely the cumbersome, bureaucratic government system would be much more expensive and worse than the service provided by those private businesses?

  2. It wasnt me
    FAIL

    Bollocks

    "A card, or more likely a phone, might carry the Visa logo but have multiple accounts held on it and the retailer might have a distinct (and financially motivated) preference for a particular account, so the EC wants to know if they should be allowed to select it automatically."

    Ive just checked my wallet, and there are 3 credit cards and 4 debit cards in there. I dont doubt that they all have different rates for the retailer, but do I put them on the counter now and say "Take your pick" ? Do I bollocks. And I wont in the future either.

  3. hitmouse
    FAIL

    Still a mess for visitors to UK/EU

    Try using a foreign-issued Visa card in a high street shop that doesn't know how to process transactions without chip-and-pin! Even though the Chip and Pin implementation specifically instructs retailers to have a system for people with older-style cards and for tourists and business travellers who will not have compatible cards, the odds are that the cashier will not allow your card.

    I love the European tollways that don't accept non-EU issued VISA cards - great for travellers in rental cars who get to the end of a 300km stretch of road and find that none of their cards are accepted on that stretch of road. The human attendants can't even manually process them .

    [Written with 6 years of experience of this in the UK and EU]

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      That's too bad really

      Chip and PIN is the default in Europe so is it surprising that many places are increasingly unprepared for a card which doesn't have one? But most will read a magnetic stripe card as a fallback. It's also fairly easy to obtain some form of chip & pin debit card (e.g. in the UK you can get a Travel Money Card from the Post Office) and load it up with money.

      As for toll roads, I doubt many people even Europeans pay with a credit card unless they are completely stuck. Most will pay with cash or have some kind of fast pass token on their car so they get a statement at the end of the month. Is it hard to carry cash?

      1. Chemist

        "As for toll roads"

        Paying French motorway tolls is MUCH faster with a card, most people seem to be in the long queue for cash. No PIN needed just card in/out

      2. hitmouse

        "In the UK you can get a Travel Money Card from the Post Office" - if you're a UK resident.

        I tried one of the Travelex cards but that was totally useless as no one would accept them - not even at Heathrow. In fact the Travelex ATMs would accept Visa cards but not their own Travelex cards.

        Plus Travelex will only issue with a single card denominated in one currency. You can get a GBP card for the UK *or* a Euro card for elsewhere but you can't have both. The cards can only be used in the currency zone they apply to.

        "As for toll roads, I doubt many people even Europeans pay with a credit card unless they are completely stuck. Most will pay with cash or have some kind of fast pass token on their car so they get a statement at the end of the month. Is it hard to carry cash?"

        I rarely see people using the fast pass lanes, and you need a LOT of cash to get around in some countries road toll systems. If you're crossing borders then you may not have all the right currency types (euro, kroner, swiss francs, ... )

    2. Adam Nealis

      Re: [Written with 6 years of experience of this in the UK and EU]

      Do the toll barriers not accept cash?

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        I would expect toll barriers to promote the use of cash rather than cards because transaction time is a lot less.

        1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

          @James Micallef

          That is probably because you have only come across the ones at Dartford or to escape Wales,with charges like £1. When you go through ones with charges like €80, a card becomes a lot faster (especially the unmanned ones that like to chew up banknotes)

        2. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          The hell it's quicker!

          Or..not on the M6 Toll. I pay by CC there and no sooner have you pushed your card into the slot then it's being pushed back out again. Probably takes less than a second. No need for a PIN and I think it'd take at least as long for cash to bounce around the basket then drop through and be counted.

        3. James Anderson

          Completely the opposite.

          The highway operators prefer credit cards every time.

          No cashier, no securicor van to pick up the 10 kilos of coins, no messing about with change .... no brainer.

          The point missed by the EU and a lot of posters is that for the retailer cash is expensive and inconvenient. Consider all the extra work and expense:-

          -- you need to keep a till full of notes and coins so you give change to all those shoppers with twenty pound note straight from the cash machine.

          -- You need to pay someone to take your takings to the bank.

          -- You need to spend hours at the bank counting notes and coins .

          -- You become an obvious target for thieves so you require more insurance and need to spend more on security.

          -- Worse you become a target for the Inland Revenue and the VAT who never believe anyone where wodges of folding are concerned.

          The retailers accept high CC charges because a) its still cheaper than dealing with coins and notes, and, b) turnover increases as they don't lose out on punters whose impulse to buy coincides with empty pockets

        4. hitmouse

          You're kidding?! Cards are very quick - much faster than people finding and feeding coins and notes through the system.

      2. hitmouse
        Facepalm

        If you have the correct currency. It's possible to get from the Channel almost across France to Switzerland without encountering the need for cash otherwise because the closer tollways aren't limited. I did a 20 country road trip and found that the currency changed every second country (generally alternating with Euro) and you're not always able to get cash before hitting the tollway, and you won't know if you need it till the end of the tollway.

    3. sugerbear

      [quote]Try using a foreign-issued Visa card in a high street shop that doesn't know how to process transactions without chip-and-pin! Even though the Chip and Pin implementation specifically instructs retailers to have a system for people with older-style cards and for tourists and business travellers who will not have compatible cards, the odds are that the cashier will not allow your card.

      I love the European tollways that don't accept non-EU issued VISA cards - great for travellers in rental cars who get to the end of a 300km stretch of road and find that none of their cards are accepted on that stretch of road. The human attendants can't even manually process them .

      [Written with 6 years of experience of this in the UK and EU][/quote]

      So, get a chip and pin card and your problems are solved. Just because your (and I assume you are from the US as most other developed countries have moved or are currently moving to chip and PIN) bank issues a shitty and insecure product dont go blaming the EU for it. As a merchant I think i would try to avoid taking any kind of magstripe product because I realise just how insecure they are and dont want the hassle of a chargeback either.

      Canadian, Brazilian, Australian, South African issued chip and pin cards work just in the EU.

      Good news for you there are some issuers in the US that have actually realised that travel experience is very poor so have switched to chip and pin.

      1. hitmouse

        Given that the UK implementation of Chip and Pin was less secure than anywhere else, that's not so practical. And no I'm not from the US although I lived there.

        Australian chip and pin does NOT work in EU.

      2. hitmouse
        WTF?

        I should add that for tollways and other places, it's nothing to do with Chip and Pin - it's that the tolls and stores won't accept Visa cards etc that weren't issued by a bank in the EU.

    4. AndrueC Silver badge
      Happy

      We had one of our US bosses visit us just before Christmas and he took us out for several meals. None of the pubs or restaurants batted an eyelid. They just swiped the card in the reader and got him to sign the receipt. Maybe they are just more used to it than shops.

    5. Chloe Cresswell

      Or try using a UK issued Chip and Sign card, and see how many places don't know how to take them, even with the terminal/ePoS putting the instructions on the screen.

      Often it comes back as the till taking it, but the person telling me they can't take it because it doesn't have a PIN...

  4. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
    Holmes

    "The consultation – asks for feedback on how to encourage payment companies to reduce their rates while increasing the security of payments"

    (1) Take their licences to operate away from them if they don't drop their costs.

    (2) Make the institutions liable for all fraudulent use of a card*

    The financial institutions need an incentive to do this, at the moment they have all the advantages and the card owner has all the disadvantages, it should be the other way round. Oh, and the EU/governments need to grow a pair as well.

    * before anyone makes a post about defrauding the bank by using my card and then ringing up the back to say it's been stolen 20 minutes later, I mean genuine cases of fraud, e.g. where your card is used in two locations at the same time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Fieldmarshal

      2 was put into law about two years ago. All burden of proof on the bank, use of a PIN is not proof as it could have been shoulder surfed.

      1. Starkadder

        Really?

        Can you quote the law? Is this UK, EU or what? My understanding has been that if the correct PIN is used in a fraudulent transaction the bank washes its hands of the the problem, which is a major reason why I don't use chip and PIN cards, as the system is inherently insecure and has no protection for the cardholder.

        1. Gabor Laszlo
          Thumb Down

          It's the internal SOP guidelines of the CC companies (search for '3D Secure liability shift').

          If you get phished, you're likely stuck with the charges, unless you can afford to appeal to Visa's own Court in London (they charge for lodging a complaint, and go from there).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @People

            Why would you complain to Visa about a contested payment on your card? They are issued by Visa, but operated by your bank - you complain to the bank and if you don't get satisfaction from them, the FSA.

            The law in question is the Financial Services Authority (FSA) Payment Services Regulations 2009 which came into force on 1 November 2009. The FSA said about the law:

            "It is for the bank, building society or credit card company to show that the transaction was made by you, and there was no breakdown in procedures or technical difficulty"

    2. Gabor Laszlo
      Unhappy

      3D Secure

      is a new 'feature' on many cards: basically a few marginally effective security measures, but if a card is enrolled in the program (many banks enroll new cards by default, and some sites force customers to enroll in order to buy), the bank can brush off responsibility for any fraudulent transactions onto the customer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Gabor

        No, not really, the bank has to *prove* it was the customer, the details could be used by man-in-the-middle attacks on internet shopping.

        1. Gabor Laszlo

          No, that's the point: burden of proof is shifted to the customer.

  5. Gregg Stuart

    Dutch trains

    really annoying that you cant use UK issued bank cards on the Dutch train system ticket machines or at some stations ticket offices.

    1. archengel46
      Meh

      Always?

      I have not had a problem using my UK debit card buying Dutch train tickets before... seems to not like my credit card though...

    2. pikey

      It’s much more fun than that. I had a company issued visa card for business expenses, and while you can quite happy use it to purchase ticket at Schiphol , try doing the same thing on a return journey. you can't as you find all the station outside of Amsterdam don't take visa, cash or their own pre-pay only. Crazy, why only allow it at one station?

      1. Avalanche

        Two different machines

        As far as I know there are two models of train ticket machines in The Netherlands, one type does not accept creditcards, only debit cards, the other type does accept creditcards. The machines only taking debit cards are more widely available. This is largely not a problem as people in NL are more likely to use a debit card than a credit card (only a minority has a credit card here).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      I've seen similar in Belgium (Brussels), it turns out that you can't use a standard card on the ticket machines, but you can in the ticket office.

    4. hitmouse

      You can't use any non-German cards in a lot of Germany now. It's either local debit cards or cash. If you need to replace some computer or photographic equipment when travelling then your daily withdrawal limit may not suffice.

  6. DrXym Silver badge

    They're expensive because

    National and EU governments let credit card companies get away with it.

    At least it's not as bad as the US though where there are, believe it or not, cards with 80% interest

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/07/pf/credit_card_interest_rate/index.htm

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Well that's changing soon

        The EU is cracking down on the likes of Ryanair who do it. They'll have to invent imaginative new ways to pretend their flights cost 1p when by the time of checkout it's closer to £50 due to all the fees and charges they've concocted.

      2. Deadlock Victim

        Easy to get around...

        Every retailer who cares to keep up with it just gives a "cash discount". As long as the posted price is the credit price or the credit price is posted first, it's a perfectly acceptable alternative to visa/mc.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the retailer might have a distinct (and financially motivated) preference for a particular account, so the EC wants to know if they should be allowed to select it automatically"

    As the purchaser, it is my choice to decide which method from the methods offered by the seller. To consider something else is a sign of folly.

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Well that's awfully nice of the EU

    Here's something that's even better value for money for the European taxpayer, how about trying to claw back that money back off the banks that was so lavishly given away and then as good as gambled or spent on bonuses without any oversight and as a result most EU countries are now on the brink of financial disaster.

    They need to stop tinkering round the edges, bring the banks down a peg or two, then get on with regulating them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

      The situation that we're in at the moment is partly to do with banks, partly to do with the running of individual economies and partly to do with people's personal desire to have stuff now and over extending themselves in debt. The banks didn't force people to take credit, so some personal responsibillity must be taken.

      Also - do you think that the shares in bailed out banks are going to be sold at a profit or loss to the taxpayer?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        @AC

        At a loss. See Virgin Money/Northern Rock.

        The EU can't legislate personal responsibility. However it can return money to the taxpayer and put some decent safeguards in place. Letting the retailer choose the card won't return money to the taxpayer and it also won't help people manage their debt.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hmm...

          Northern Rock was actually a nationalised bank, not bailed out. They were not ever going to be making a profit again, short of being broken up, whereas the bailed out banks will all return to profit relatively quickly and should make the tax payer a pretty penny for their investment. Then they'll continue to contribute tax to the country.

  9. Alex Walsh

    The EU need to sort out the clearing system first. Having to pay £25+ to make a CHAPS payment is still often the only way to ensure that money moves instantly from one bank to another. Scandalous. Yes, there are some fast pay systems in place but I get fed up with 1-3 working days for money to appear in my account.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      i think you mean

      1-3 days' interest and use of.

  10. icetroggy

    Isn't the problem that the card charges are paid for by the retailer, so the customer has no motivation to choose a card with low charges? In fact there is a motivation to choose one with high charges and cashback, which then pushes prices up for everyone else (unless they retailers start refusing certain cards).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They don't have to be expensive

    try this:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasoncollazo/2011/12/26/hate-swipe-fees-start-a-new-payment-revolution/

    The trend is that these unsecured card debts are converted to secured. Combine that with rate jacking and one understands why the phrase banksters is popular.

  12. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    2-factor for online

    Now if the 2-factor system works like the Barclays system with an independent card reader (PIN Sentry), then that is a good thing, and I really don't know why all transactions aren't done using a one-time code. (For anyone who doesn't know it, you put your chip-pin card into the reader, enter your PIN, then enter a code for the recipiant (like their account number) and the amount of the payment. The machine produces a 1-time code that combines the recipiant, amount and private key from your card that makes the number useless to anyone else, and can't be generated without having the card and knowing the pin. Also the fact that PIN Sentry can't be connected to anything else stops it getting a trojan installed)

    However, if their idea of 2 factor is the stupid "insecure-by-visa"® system where you have put an extra password onto a form on a website, no thanks. It seems everytime I do it, my password has expired because I used it more than 4 weeks before. So it forces me to create a new pasword (but not the same as the old one). To do this, it asks me EXACTLY the same questions that the website just asked me (name, DOB, address, etc.), so anyone who would've make a purchase using my details can just generate a new password anyway!

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Temporary credit card numbers

      I'd be happy for Visa / Mastercard to establish a method of payment similar to PayPal where I never have to reveal my credit card number to the merchant in the first place. When I pay I should be taken off to Visa / Mastercard's site to enter my details, after which the merchant gets some kind of success response. The advantage for merchants is that they don't have to gather payment instructions from users or risk that information getting stolen and it's cheaper than PayPal. The advantage to Visa / Mastercard is it cuts PayPal out of the loop. The advantage to customers is it saves a lot of laborious typing.

      In situations where the above is not possible, payment processors should be required to permit temporary card numbers to be generated which last for some duration of time, or with the first merchant to charge them, or some spending limit and then become invalid. Then it doesn't matter so much if the merchant gets hacked because the number is dead.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My French bank prefers that I register a phone number with it. When I pay online & the 'secure by Visa' stuff is triggered, I get a PIN sent to the phone by SMS, and I'm asked to enter that on the website.

      The first time this happened I didn't realise that the number my bank had was my home landline, so the SMS was sent to that. France Telecom, being clever buggers, diverted that to a text-to-speech system which phoned my home number and read out the SMS. I was in a US hotel at the time, and my wife *really* didn't appreciate the 3am call.... ;) Fortunately I was buying something for her.

  13. despairing citizen
    Go

    Part of the cost is Risk based

    Part of the cost of using a credit card, is related to the card company having to cover it's responsibilities under the consumer credit act, and fraud using card based systems (both from the buyer and merchant end)

    This is why a local authority can get away with a much lower mechant fee (e.g. 1.5%), than for a small startup online store (3%+)

    But regulations setting out what operating costs are incurred, and the risk model they are using would be a help comparitor to prevent excessive charges, and foster competion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also odd perks for cardholders

      According to a vast ad hoarding the other side of the railway line from me, MasterCard holders can have drinks with the luvvies after a west end show - a useless perk for the 99+% of people who can't afford to visit London theatre and pay for a drink at theatre bar rates.

  14. Gary Rowe
    Pirate

    What we need is digital cash

    Wouldn't it be great if someone, somewhere could invent a form of distributed digital cash? All these problems with credit cards would vanish overnight.

    To help get it started, I've thought of a great name: Bitcoin.

  15. Piloti
    FAIL

    Europe and debit cards.....

    "" The EC also wants to know why some cards, such as certain debit cards, don't work in every shop in Europe, and if that matters ""

    This is quite simple really...... In the UK a shop has a bank acount through which it takes payments. The EPOS machines are connected to the bank who in turn manage the payments through the Visa / Mastercard networks. FIne.

    For example, in Germany, the banks do not have 'connections' to both visa and mastercard and as such, the shop needs to make a choice : connect to one system or pay themselves for access to two, with an epos machine for both.

    The result is that, when buying shoes in a shop in Aachen, just as an example, they do not take /credit cards/ and only the German EC card, which is a Germany only card. Credit cards are not accepted. I know this becuase this is exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago and I had to borrow 150 quid to buy some shoes. Very embrassing.

    Answer : drag europe kicking ans screaming into the 21st century and have done with it.

  16. Leo Maxwell
    Flame

    10 years ago, it didn't

    10 years ago, paying by debit card in France cost you the price.

    now it costs the price plus a conversion fee from pounds to euro.

    which is pants, because it is just an electronic credit transaction, there is no conversion involved.

    The banks are just parasites

    1. trigpoint

      Its the shops

      Its not the banks here, its the shops trying to get in on foreign exchange.

      Happened to.my wife, she was given a choice of paying euros or pounds. She selected pounds and that kicked off all the need a passport, which was in the car. Fortunately the cashier accepted my driving license.

      Just select euros and it should work as normal. I would be very upset if shops started charging me commision on my debit card, as it commision free when my bank do the exchange.

    2. trigpoint
      Thumb Down

      Its the shops

      Its not the banks here, its the shops trying to get in on foreign exchange.

      Happened to.my wife, she was given a choice of paying euros or pounds. She selected pounds and that kicked off all the need a passport, which was in the car. Fortunately the cashier accepted my driving license.

      Just select euros and it should work as normal. I would be very upset if shops started charging me commision on my debit card, as it commision free when my bank do the exchange.

  17. mhenriday
    Pint

    One of those rare occasions when our beloved European Commission

    (not «the EU», Bill ; there's a difference) does take an initiative in the interests of the citizens and residents of member countries - another rare instance which springs to mind was the mandating of the browser-choice screen. Let us hope that more effort is devoted to this sort of thing, rather than to bailing out banks (and their shareholders) and saving the moribund project known as the Euro....

    Henri

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If this leads to better electronic (micro)payments, who needs the Euro?

    If this leads to lower transaction costs and helps innovation in faster simpler more secure payments, then who needs the Euro? (and, with it, all of the difficulty that has become apparent over the last few months)

    One of the benefits of the Euro was reducing the need for converting physical currencies - but if electronic means becomes ubiquitous then this benefit is less so. After all, isn't it in developing continents like Africa where the mobile, for example, is an electronic means for transferring money.

    Wouldn't this enable countries to revert to their sovereign currencies which might help the EU crisis as they would have more control over their own affairs rather than an undemocratic centralised system that wrongly assumes that all countries economic characteristics are the same (clearly not - e.g. not all Eurozone countries are like Germany with a strong manufacturing base for example).

    And with near field devices available in microsd form to non NFC phones then the ability to retrofit becomes possible for cashless, contactless micropayments.

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