The European Institutions
In the last Newsletter (Issue 73, June 2014), we presented the result of the European
and the chart of their likely breakdown among the political groups. The
final repartition between groups was only marginally different and can
be found here
The first test of the new Parliament will be the election of the
proposed college for the Junker Commission presented by the President-
elect to the Council. The college still counts 28 Commissioners (one per
country) contrary to the provision of the Lisbon Treaty which proposed a
reduction to 14 Commissioners. However, for the first time ever, a
hierarchical structure has been put in place with the team, with an
effective deputy president (the Dutch “First Vice President” Frans
Timmermans). The Commission work will be organized around “priority
projects” lead by 6 Vice presidents to whom the other Commissioners will
The commission was presented as a “strong team”, with 5 former Prime
ministers and 19 former ministers. Only 7 Members of the Barroso
Commission remain in the new College, including the German Öttinger, the
Austrian Hahn, and the Finn Katainen (who only joined the Commission in
July 2014 to replace Olli Rehn).
The objective of the Junker commission will be to be:
“bigger and more ambitious on big things, and
smaller and more modest on small things”. A strong emphasis is given on
better Regulation and Junker has promised a bond fire of “unnecessary”
legislative proposals currently in the pipeline.
Of specific relevance to ESTA are in particular:
• VP for the Euro and social dialogue:
Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia),
• Internal Market and Industry, entrepreuneurship and SMEs:
VP Andrus Ansip (Estonia) and Elzebieta Bienkowska (Poland) specifically responsible for internal market;
• Employment social affairs and labour mobility:
Larianne Thyseen (Belgium)
The list of Commissioners with their portfolios can be found here
Hearing of the new Commission in their relevant Parliamentary Committees
has taken place early in October 2014. The EP will then vote on the
entire College (the Parliament can only accept or reject the college as a
Commission work on 1&2c € coins
The commission (DG ECFIN) has invited ESTA and a number of other
organizations (EVA, Scan Coin) together with NCBs and the ECB for a
meeting to discuss the issue of the future of 1 and 2 cents coins,
further to an impact assessment study conducted by the Mint group in
relation to their continuation, particularly envisaging their issuance
at a lower cost. Two members of ESTA’s Cash Group joined the meeting:
Prosegur and BDGW.
These coins represent 46 to 47% of all coins in circulation, yet a small
portion of the total value of coins. A number of Member States have
voiced their preference for an elimination of these coins, though the
Commission assured the audience that no such proposal is on the table
for the moment and the purpose of the meeting was to assess to reduce
their cost, not to discuss whether they should go or not.
The discussion took place on the basis of a study prepare by Austria
Mint. During the discussion, all options which would have as a
consequence a change of size, weight and/or conductivity of coins which
would affect the operation of either sorting and vending machines were
generally opposed by the industry.
The meeting did not aim to be conclusive and therefore no decision was
adopted. Based on the discussion, the Mint Group will update its study
on cost reduction possibilities. The main outcome of the meeting was
that the emphasis, stressed notably by ESTA, has shifted from a mere
production costs to a full life cycle assessment of these coins,
including transportation, shelf life, coins management and processing,
which should be reflected in the next version of the study.
Cash use continues to represent a major part of all payments.
Young people and cash
It is well known that one should not believe everything that can be read
in papers. This principle found a new illustration in August when a
survey in the US revealed that a slight majority (51%) of adult American
up to the age of 30 preferred using cards for payments as low as $5.
The conclusion drawn from the survey is that the American society is
moving from cash to cards. The fact that the survey was commissioned by
CreditCards.com probably explains the self-serving outcome of the
The Federal reserve however in its June study “Consumer Preference and
the Use of Cash” showed the contrary: young people are more likely to
use cash. 1
According to the report, 40% of 18–24 year olds
prefer cash to other payment methods, compared to only 25% of people
aged 65 and over.
Cash use and cards competition
The research from the Federal Reserved mentioned earlier showed that
cash is half of the payment in the US: it shows that card transactions
still outnumbered cards payments, and nearly 60% of payment of less than
$25 are made in cash (2012).
A research in the UK2
confirms the same kind of findings: cash represents 53 %of retails payment in 2013.
There are further interesting findings in this research: the survey
shows that cash transactions only represented 9% of transaction costs by
retailers (compared to a massive 85% of their transaction costs from
the 42% card transactions).
The number of cards in use is growing rapidly with an expected 10.8
billion cards in circulation worldwide at the end of 2013, with an
increase of 11% compared to 20123
. The number of cards is expected to continue to grow and the potential for it remains high.
It shows however that the growth of cards is not taking place at the
detriment of cash, as the total number of payments also increases in
most countries (the UK being possibly an exception).
1Although some methodological bias may
also explain the result obtained by the CreditCard.com survey, not least
that its research only interviewed card owners, when the Fed surveyed
a representative sample of young people: see “Young American Hate
Cash… or do they ?”Currency News Volume 12 – Issue 9 of September
2014 2British Retail Consortium, Retail Payment Survey 2013 3Global Payments Cards Data Forecasts : 2013-2019, Currency News August 2014
A French Tax Payer Pays taxes in 1,2 and 5 cents coins.
The French news reported on 16 September that a taxpayer, who was denied
delay to pay her 1200 euros of annual income tax, has paid as a
protest the last part of her tax bill (207 euros) in cash at the desk
using only 1, 2 and 5 cents coins. She came with bags totalizing 38
kilogrammes and it took reportedly a couple of hours for 7 officials to
count the coins and check the amount. The anecdote has it that they
were not happy.
Next time, they may be well inspired of calling a professional cash processor for the counting and checking of the coins.
Card Fraud: study shows that one in four customers is victim of card fraud
There is a wide coverage in the media that card fraud is particularly
prone to fraud. A recent study over 20 countries showed that 25% of
consumers have been victim of card fraud within the last 5 years and for
10 % of them, more than just only once. The study also shows that
consumers victim of fraud also tend to use their cards less afterwards
or in 23% of the cases, change their financial institution shortly
A study from Euromonitor has shown that card fraud losses in 2013 for 19 European countries4
reviewed picked at €1.55 bn, with France and the UK totalizing 62% of
all total fraud losses recorded for the 19 countries. This is the
highest peak since 2008.
The risk of fraud losses is highest in France, Greece and the UK, but
fraud losses have increased 28% in Russia in 2013 compared to the year
before. In 10 of the 19 countries reviewed, fraud losses has increased
compare to 2012, whist in the other 9 is has remained stable or has
In this context, the rapid development of mobile payment devises should
also raise some concerns to consumers. The risk is partly the same risk
that laptops and PCs face, e.g. malicious apps, viruses and other types
of malware and intrusions, without however, protection devices as
developed for mobile devices than they are for PCs and laptop.
417 EU Member States + Russia and Ukraine
ECB News heading
Cash in circulation (ECB)
This is the latest information published by the European Central Bank showing cash in circulation.
The total number of Euro banknotes in circulation at the end of July
2014 stood at 16,589 million, with a value of €969.5 billion, an
increase of 1.9% in volume of 1.6% in value compared to May 2014.
The total number of Euro coins in circulation end of July 2014 grew to
109,053 million, while their value increased to €24,701 million, an
increase of 1.2% in volume and 1.3% in value compared to May 2014.
Click on graph to access detailed info on low and high denomination banknotes and coins.
Click on the graphs
Online training material for the Euro banknotes
The ECB has provided training material on the euro banknotes, including
the Europa series, on its website, responding to a growing demand for
online material by cash professionals. This material can be accessed
though a single web page www.ecb.europa.eu/euro/cashprof/trainingmat/html/index.en.html.
The material provided includes 3 sets of training: slides
presentations with detailed information on security features of the two
news Europa Series, “knowledge of banknotes”, which is a e-learning
tool targeting the professional dealing with banknotes on a daily basis
and a “Eurocash Academy” for the general public (the latter being
available in all EU languages whilst the former two are only available
In addition to this material, EU leaflets are available at the ECB web and www.newfaceoftheeuro.eu. For any question, Vicente Ventura of the ECB can be contacted on +49 69 1344 7876 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bank of England commissions a new independent study on the safe handling of banknotes protection chemical.
Further to an external review of contaminated banknotes, the Bank of
England has published a summary of its finding concerning a list of
hazardous chemical substances which should be excluded from banknote
protection systems. The findings can be found here.
ESTA’s guidance on selection criteria for CIT and CMC suppliers
ESTA has produced a guidance document to customers for selection of cash
service providers, distinguishing mere CIT providers (which includes
ATM replenishment with or without secure engineering, emptying of ATMs
and recirculation of cash) and cash processing service providers
(including custom deposit processing and the provision of cash for ATMs
and other recycling equipment).
The rationale for this guidance document is that customers of each type
of service need to pay attention to fundamentally different
requirements, which it is important for customers to understand when
The document identifies common criteria required for both types of
services and a series of specific requirement applying specifically to
each service. The document can be found on ESTA’s website.
ESTA conference 2015
Next year's conference will be held in Berlin, Germany, in the Maritim Pro-Arte hotel on May 31st to
June 2nd 2015. The hotel located on the Friedrichstrasse is very
central and close to the Unter den Linden and the Branderburger Tor.
The theme will follow up on last year’s innovation topic and will deal
with the capacity of evolution of our industry to foster new value and
revisit our business models to generate more value for our clients.
Registration will start in December on ESTA’s website. Pencil in the date!