Why do barriers to cross-border payments exist in the EU?

March 11th 2019

People living and travelling in the European Union face ongoing difficulties managing their finances across national borders. Payments present ongoing problems for cross-border travellers and commuters, since EU countries differ as to what kinds of payment mechanisms dominate, and credit cards aren't accepted everywhere.

For example, some parking meters in the Netherlands only accept Dutch debit cards, which can cause problems for German and Belgian day-trippers who cross the border to shop. And if the situation is difficult for EU residents, it is even harder for migrants from outside the EU. 

Payments aren't the only area where financial integration is incomplete. Shopping for consumer finance products internationally, such as mortgages, payment tools, or insurance, is fraught with risks and uncertainties. Pension schemes are still under-integrated, and taxation systems differ from country to country. 

In some instances, an absence of integration benefits consumers, as they can take advantage of certain cross-border differences such as the persistence of asymmetrical pricing for financial products and services (e.g., mortgages, insurance) or consumption opportunities (e.g., culturally unique shopping environments or product availability). In fact, this is the logic behind cross-border employment – arbitrage – and also behind the idea of a single market that increases consumers’ choices.

Overall, however, these problems deter the emergence of a single market for financial services and discourage mobility across borders, especially labour mobility.

Announcing the EWPN Research Network

February 22nd 2019

I am very pleased to announce a new Research Network as part of the European Women Payments Network, which is co-led by myself and Dr. Anette Broløs

The EWPN Research Network brings together payments researchers working in industry, academia, and not-for-profit organisations. We work together to connect, create, and collaborate on research projects and activities. Our goal is to improve the quality of payments research and advance our knowledge of the role of payments in society and industry.

The EWPN Research Network is free to join. To sign up, please email research@ewpn.eu

The EWPN Research Network will be formally launched at the EWPN Annual Conference on the 4th and 5th of June, 2019:

  • 4th June, 14:00-17:30 – “Open Space: Building an EWPN Research Network” (maximum 50 people)
  • 5th June – “Why does Payments Research Matter? Launch of the EWPN Research Network”

For more information see the EWPN conference 2019 website. You can register for the conference on Eventbrite.

GDPR for web developers

January 10th 2019

GDPR has affected everything we do with user data, and companies have really struggled to be compliant with the new regulation. And the struggle is not over.

In this talk at SymfonyLive London 2018 we explain what GDPR is, and then we talk about the different ways in which web developers have approached it. We present case studies based on interviews we have done with three companies Then we discuss some of the on-going issues with GDPR.

Watch the video here

The social benefits of personalized finance

August 3rd 2018

Until recently, personal finance services have been highly standardized. Most banks have offered very similar types of accounts, online banking features, and standardized credit cards. As a result, people often view banks as being cut from the same mould. In the UK, this standardization has been identified as a major reason for low levels of account-switching. Why go to the hassle of changing banks if they all offer the same packages, and at similar price points?