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Visa eases money transfers in the EU

The European arm of credit card giant Visa last week officially launched a cross-border money transfer service, designed to allow...

The European arm of credit card giant Visa last week officially launched a cross-border money transfer service, designed to allow member banks to comply with forthcoming European Union (EU) legislation on cross-border payments.

From July 2003, banks in the EU will no longer be able to charge more for low-value cross-border EU transfers than they do for domestic transfers.

Visa EU said its Visa Direct service, which operates across the company's newly implemented IT infrastructure, will provide member banks with a ready-made, low-cost means of complying with the new regulations.

The service plugs into existing systems and uses globally recognised Visa account numbers to provide an end-to-end service, the company said.

The service, developed with software firm Clear2Pay, allows Visa EU cardholders to transfer money in all major currencies to friends, family or clients straight away, said Jon Prideaux, executive vice-president at Visa EU.

All the sender needs to know is the e-mail address or account number of the recipient, he added.

"It provides a convenient and good value alternative to traditional money transfer services, which are often cumbersome and complicated to use. It also offers members a low-cost solution to processing payments within an evolutionary regulatory environment," said Prideaux.

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